There are a lot of things that life throws at you that you just never expected to go the way it does. For example, when my family moved, my kids had to go to a new school and the new school was nothing like what I was expecting. I was pretty disappointed because I was sure that one of the benefits of moving to the new neighborhood was going to be better schools for my kids. Then a couple of years after we moved the pandemic hit. Being alive during a global pandemic is also something that I never expected would be part of my story and it added additional complications to our school situation. I had my own ideas of how I thought things would go in my life and in the last few years, almost every single one of them has been thrown for a loop. I imagine you probably have some examples of how things in your life might not be going as you expected as well.
So the question is, how will I adapt and keep going in the face of the unexpected?
I’m reminded that both Peter and Judas were expecting a king that would exude earthly power and would take an earthy throne and right all the wrongs that were happening to God’s people. But God’s plan of how that would happen was much different from what Peter and Judas were excepting. They both eventually realized that what they expected was not going to happen the way that they planned but they both handled the discovery very differently.
Judas was so set in his heart on how he expected or wanted things to go that when he realized it wasn’t going to happen he became bitter and sold Jesus out to the highest bidder. Peter, on the other hand, was disappointed that what he had planned wasn’t going to happen the way he wanted it to but he didn’t let his disappointment take root. He decided to set his heart on the truth of who he had discovered Jesus to be and because of that, he was willing to go along with the unexpected and see how God’s plan would play out. Because of his willingness to adapt to changes and his ability to trust God even in the midst of the unexpected, Peter went on to become the foundation of the church that we know today.
One thing that keeps me grounded in the unexpected situations of life is that even though I never knew these things would be part of my story God always did. He isn’t at all surprised by any of the events over the last few years or anything else that has played out in my life or yours. Just like Peter, we can rest in the thought that the things that God promised us weeks, months, or even years ago still apply no matter how different our lives may look from the expectations we have. In the face of the unexpected, we have the choice to become bitter and give up or to keep going by putting our focus on who God has revealed himself to be to us and trusting that his plans are perfect for our lives.
What will you choose?