Friday, February 8, 2019

Not What I Expected!


This past week, we had a couple of really nice days; they felt like a touch of spring! On one of those days, I decided that rather than go to the gym I would go for a run outdoors. And, since it was so nice out, I decided to take a ride to the ocean and run the boardwalk, my favorite place to run.  That was not the best decision I’ve ever made!

You see, when I left my house the thermostat in my car read 64.  However, when I got about a block from the boardwalk, which is about 5 miles from my house, the thermostat suddenly dropped to 55.  By the time I got to the place where I parked my car, it had dropped to 48—and, it was quite breezy.  I began my run, heading south and into the cold breeze that was beginning to pick up force.  Those walking on the boardwalk were dressed in hats, gloves, and winter coats. I had no hat or gloves; I was freezing in my shorts, t-shirt, and running pullover, which I had thought for sure I was going to have to take off. By the time I finished 2 ½ miles, which was all I could get myself to run in those conditions, the temperature had dropped to 43.  Of course, I was kicking myself, realizing that I should have run in my neighborhood. This was not what I expected!

Now, running in a temperature of 43 degrees with some wind is no problem if one is ready for it. But, I was not ready for these conditions. I was expecting to feel the warmth of the sun on my face, take off the pullover, and find myself in a sweat.  Instead, my face and hands were cold, and my ears began to hurt. I was definitely not prepared for the conditions I found myself in. Again, this was not what I expected. 

This is what I expected!
Have you noticed how that happens to us in life in so many different ways? We are expecting life to go a certain way, yet so often things turn out so differently.  The unexpected has a way of raising its head at the most unexpected times in our lives. And, if we are not careful we can become overwhelmed, thrown off course, disheartened and discouraged.  Maybe in some ways, we ought to expect the unexpected; we ought to always be ready for the unexpected. How? By building our faith and trust in the One for whom nothing is unexpected!

In Psalm 46, the psalmist speaks of what had to have been for him the unexpected: the earth giving way, mountains quaking and falling into the sea. He says, “nations are in an uproar, kingdoms fall.” He writes of the earth melting! No one expects earthquakes, wars, and the falling apart of kingdoms and nations—at least not in their lifetime.  It had to have all seemed quite terrifying.  Yet in the midst of it all, the psalmist declares, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Vs. 1) Twice he says, “The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”  (Vss. 7, 11) It seems to me that, somewhere along the line the psalmist had prepared himself for the unexpected. 

I don’t know what unexpected things might happen in your life and mine today or in the days to come. All I know is that unexpected things do happen and will happen. Thus, the best thing we can do is prepare ourselves for the unexpected by building our faith and confidence in God, so that when the unexpected happens “we will not fear.”  (Vs. 2)  Let’s put our trust in the One for whom nothing is unexpected! 

Have a great day!

Pastor Tim Harris


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