How does one prepare for the unexpected? By its very nature, the word unexpected means exactly that; it sneaks up on you like a thief, or it’s like the unexpected guest who just shows up on your doorstep and rings the bell. When the storm comes, we are left feeling quite helpless. We spiral into a thought pattern of wishing we had had more time to prepare, or at least a little notice would have been nice. The unexpected storms reinforce for all of us something we know but do not wish to admit most of the time. We are in control of very little. I remember Chuck Swindoll saying, “The only thing we have control over is our attitudes.”
As followers of Jesus, we live, not only in a fallen, broken world but we are susceptible and vulnerable to everything the Fall changed. I realize this was never the plan of God from the beginning. We are not equipped to live like this. However, God has not left us alone to fend for ourselves. God offers hope.
“Fear is the tyrant of the imagination.” I found myself sharing with someone the other day as they were sharing with me all the “what ifs” of their lives. Yes, they were facing a host of challenges, very real and very scary. However, it was not those tangible challenges that were causing their greatest anxiety. It was the “what ifs” spinning around and out of those challenges. Yes, they were waiting for test results to return but in their minds, they were already becoming fearful and full of anxiety over the possible outcomes. Like all of us, those outcomes had a range of possibilities from mild to pronounce me dead now.
To answer the question: Is there a way we can prepare for the unexpected? Yes. God, in His infinite wisdom and grace, has provided a way.
One day the Saviour’s disciples were filled with anxiety. Their predictions about the future were as grim as one will hear. Jesus, the master teacher, seized the moment. Drawing their attention to the birds of the air, he asked them to rate the birds’ scale of anxiety. As they watched, it appeared that as the birds were going about their daily business, they did not seem to be anxious or full of fret. It appeared they simply trusted the Creator for strength and resources for the day. They did not even store up for the next day but lived fully in the moment.
Jesus pointed them, and us, to the greatest preparation of all. Trust in my Father for your needs today. Do not borrow worry and fret from tomorrow. It has enough of its own. Jesus used a banking term to drive home the point. When you think of today, he said, does it not have enough challenges? Why would you go to the bank and borrow for tomorrow when today is already full, and besides, can you guarantee you will be here tomorrow?
Here is His answer. “But seek first My Kingdom and all these other things will be given to you.” Trust God for today. All your needs will be taken care of by your Father.
This is the biblical way to prepare for the unexpected. God has gone before us. He is in our today before it becomes today for us. Fear is almost always based on the future. Most of the time, we are afraid of what we do not know about the future.
Jesus continues to tell us as He did His disciples: “You will have trouble and storms in this world but take heart. I have overcome the world.”
Today, you and your day are in the hands of God.
On the Lighter Side. Some have informed me they are remembering more from this section of “Words” than above. If that is the case, pause and return to the beginning. Bobby, at three years of age, sometimes had difficulty with certain consonants. He sometimes said “nake” for “snake” and “neeze” for “sneeze.” One night his dad was reading for him John 9:4: “The night cometh, when no man can work.” Bobby turned to his mom and said, “What’s the matter with Daddy? Can’t he say snowman?”