This morning, my wife read me this quote from Facebook: “My whole life could be summed up in this one statement- ‘Well, that didn’t go as planned.'”
This week has been spring break for us in Arkansas, and can be described by that statement. My family was supposed to go camping for three days, then circumstances changed – weather included. It was very cold and windy! We ended up leaving a day early, which ended up being the prettiest day of the week.
Then we had a ballgame scheduled, circumstances changed, and we had to cancel.
Some friends our ours were supposed to take their kids to a really fun place, then circumstances changed and they ended up having to change plans all together.
To top it off, I just saw a post on fb about a family whose son ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. Here is the mom’s quote – “We didn’t expect this!”
When it comes down to it, probably none of us could sit here and say, “Yep, this is how I planned for life to turn out.”
Some of us have lost that job. Gone through that divorce. Heard those words from the doctor. Watched your child make those choices.
I can certainly relate.
However, we can take heart today because the idea of life taking unexpected turns is definitely not a new phenomenon.
In fact, If we look back to 2,000 years ago, the disciples of Jesus could relate to this well. You know the story…Jesus told his disciples on numerous occasions that the time was coming that he would be handed over to sinful men to be crucified, and would be raised from the grave three days later.
They heard him. He tried to prepare them, but they just didn’t get it.
Then on good Friday, the disciples felt like time stood still as they watched Jesus pay the ultimate price for all of the sins of the world by being crucified. To Jesus, this was no surprise. He knew the will of His Father clearly. But to his disciples, they were left wondering what in the world just happened.
Things didn’t appear to be going as planned.
During the time period between Jesus’ death and resurrection, the disciples were left with the same two things we are left with when life takes a different turn than what we expect.
The first thing they were left with were their raw emotions. Doubts. Fear. Frustration. Anger. Questioning what’s going to happen next or how they should respond and is God going to come through for them this time?
The second thing they were left with were The promises of Jesus. Those are the only two things they they had to hang onto.
Then something wonderful happened. Jesus fulfilled His promise as He was raised from the dead! And the first group of people he wanted to see was his disciples. I love this account in Luke 24:40-43. “As he spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet. Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder. Then he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he ate it as they watched.” Luke 24:40-43 NLT
What can we conclude from this first Easter experience the disciples had? You may be facing uncertainty that comes with different circumstances. Your life right now has definitely not gone as planned.
Here is the good news. With time, God has the ability to resurrect things in your life that as of right now you lack the clarity. He has a way of showing up in ways that leave you and me standing there like the disciples – in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder.
I love how this part of the story ends as we find it in Luke 24:51-53. “While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. So they worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy. And they spent all of their time in the Temple, praising God.” Luke 24:51-53 NLT
A Brand New Question
When life takes its unexpected twists and turns, the most natural question we tend to ask first is why? Instead, here is an even better question… A BRAND NEW QUESTION to ask ourselves when life takes unexpected turns:
“Lord, what opportunity does this unexpected situation/crisis/disappointment open up for me?”
And then let Him fill in the blank in His time.
Until next time…Happy Easter to you and your family! May His peace fill you as you walk through your days of doubt and unexpected turns.