Has life ever unexpectedly rearranged itself in front of your eyes? Yeah, me too. And I’m sure all of us are painfully familiar with the panic and anxiety that goes hand in hand with the surprise.
It may have been sudden, or we may have had a hunch things were changing. But we’re never fully prepared for it, are we? Very few of us enjoy having our stability jerked out from underneath us.
The familiar disappears; replaced with, What now? What should I do? Where do I go? Why me?
We tend to think it’s not fair. And we would be correct. But what in this life is really fair? Bad things happen to good people. Tragic events occur. The best-laid plans……
Before you think me a little flippant about this, let me assure you I’m anything but. I’ve spent many a sleepless night upset about circumstances beyond my control; many hours in prayer trying to sway things my way; many days trying to make sense of events that make no sense.
Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. That’s Entrepreneur’s motto. And in many ways, I can see where it might save a lot of heartbreak. But planning for the worst doesn’t seem to provide much comfort in the middle of a crisis.
So what are we to do? I guess the first question is, do you believe things happen for a reason? If so, why do you believe that? It’s easy to believe this when good things happen. Of course they happen for a reason….the reason is that I deserve them; I worked hard; I made them happen. We never really think life is unfair when good things happen to us. Somehow we’re always justified in receiving those good things.
Bad things…or what we perceive as bad things? Totally different. We wail. We cry foul. We curse God. We give up. We turn bitter and resentful. We forget…
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. ~Romans 8:28
Whether these things are the result of trials purposely being brought into our lives, or the consequence of our own wrongdoing, the message is the same. The trials of this life produce perseverance…and persevering through the desert times in life shapes our character. And for those that put their faith in something besides themselves, it produces hope.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. ~James 1:2–4
For those that have faith, we believe if God brings us to it, he’ll bring us through it. But we may feel more than a bit battle-weary when it’s all said and done.