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I Wasn’t Expecting That

September 18th 2015 1 comment so far  

girl field storm walkingAt 3:30 in the morning last Friday, my phone rang. People don’t often receive good news, like winning the lottery or being cured of cancer, at that time of night. Usually, an early morning phone call means trouble, and this story is no exception. When I answered, my good friend and neighbor—I’ll call her The Bride—told me her recently wedded husband had suffered a seizure, and she asked if my roommate and I would come wait for the ambulance with her. Within a minute, we were out the door in our pajamas and flip flops, and the flashing red lights met us at The Bride’s apartment. We spent the next three hours waiting with her at the ER and running errands back home to grab jeans, books, and other comforts for their upcoming hospital stay.

This wasn’t in any of our plans for last Friday. The Bride did not expect to spend the following week in the hospital with her 24-year-old husband, getting results of MRIs and exploring surgery options. When The Bride said “I do” less than two months ago, she didn’t know she was marrying someone with a cluster of blood vessels in his brain waiting to rupture—the first test of “in sickness and in health” coming so soon after their wedding day. As I think on this, I am reminded that none of us can predict what awaits us tomorrow, or even ten seconds from now. Every day, we step out in faith. I wake up and put my feet on the floor, trusting that there is still a floor beneath me. And at first thought, this terrifies me.

Incidents like my friend’s seizure are a reminder that human control is an illusion. Yes, humans make choices; we’ve been gifted with agency, and we perform actions all the time. We execute a task and expect a certain outcome—we brush our teeth so we hopefully do not get cavities; we keep a calendar so we make it on time to meetings; we save money to pay for college funds and vacations. But cavities happen, meetings get canceled, and emergencies occur that require extra funds. Our expectations are rattled in these moments, and when the ground shakes, we are more likely to grasp for what is sturdy. For the Christian person, God is our sturdy, unchanging rock. Only God knows what’s ahead and maintains ultimate control of the universe, which is comforting…if we maintain the right perspective.

Proverbs 19:21  reads, “Many are the plans in the mind of man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” God does not promise that our plans will come to fruition; He does not promise Christians an easy life if we follow certain steps. Rather than comfort and stability, Jesus promises us trials of many kinds just for following Him, plus all the other troubles of this world. Because of this, we should expect to have our expectations shaken from time to time. My rebellious mind dislikes this reality, of course, but it is something we all must recognize. We know one thing for sure—earthquakes will come. We just don’t know when.

And more importantly, “we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28). We know that God has overcome the world. That is the promise that makes me brave for tomorrow. My hope, and yours, does not rest on predicting the future. Our “good” is the good of God’s kingdom, which is a bigger picture than we can see from a human vantage point. God will teach us through the unexpected. Ask yourself, “When have I ever learned something from a day that went as planned?” (As if any day ever goes exactly as planned…) Truly, it’s on the days of unexpected phone calls that we learn to follow God where He leads, in trust and love, without expectation of the outcome.

I have no doubt that God is using The Bride and her husband’s situation to increase their trust in Him, to strengthen their marriage, and to encourage them to lean on the friends and family who surround them, plus countless other kingdom outcomes I cannot see. So as much as the unknown may scare me, I can have confidence as I walk through this temporary strife, and so can all believers. We can expect that earthquakes will come, and that God will help us to endure. So we keep following Him. We keep remembering that His is the control and the knowledge of the future; and as our familiar prayer reads, His is “the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.”

Written by Patricia Krecklow



    Steve Fischer September 19th at 9:18 am  

    Amazing. What a beautifully crafted, brilliantly insightful, and soul penatring article Patricia. Keep writing you have a wonderful gift. Thanks for sharing may your day be blessed

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