We added a new member to our family recently. It was very unexpected for both of us.
Her name is Zoe, and she is a one-year-old Labrador Retriever.
When she arrived at the house one of the first things she tried to do was jump into my recliner to curl up and lay down. What she didn’t know and hadn’t expected was the wild ride she got. You see my recliner is also a swivel rocker and when her 63 pounds hit the chair; it spun her around like a gyrating whirling dervish from which she quickly exited with a bewildered expression on her face.
An Unexpected Meeting
But that probably wasn’t as traumatic as the whirlwind upheaval in her life.
Because her owner entered rehab Zoe found herself in a shelter. Unfortunately, the shelter she was surrendered to was full. So they requested that the Humane Society in my county take her and they said yes.
Three days after her arrival she came face to face with me.
Why was I at the shelter? Well, that was unexpected too. I went on an unexpected excursion with a friend “just to look at the cats and dogs.”
The next thing Zoe and I knew we were setting out on a life adventure that neither one of us had envisioned.
Zoe stepped into a new world that includes two doggie sisters and a kitty brother. And soon I hope she understands that it also includes more love than she could have ever imagined.
Life Is Full Of the Unexpected
Zoe is beginning to settle into her new life. Watching her is causing me to reflect on how much of life is unexpected and out of our control, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I know if I’m not careful I will try to cling to the known and predictable (I wrote about that here) but if I do that I will miss out on the adventure-filled story God has planned for my life.
Unexpected things can come at us from all directions. Sometimes good and sometimes bad. Often what we perceive as bad is really for our ultimate good.
Zoe is a perfect example of that. She unexpectedly lost her home and landed in a shelter. I’m sure she perceived this as a bad thing, not something she wanted. But then she meets this strange woman, and her life gets turned upside down but in a good way. Because now she has a forever home where she is loved by her furmom and her fur-siblings.
The truth is, we rarely mind the unexpected when it’s a good or happy experience. But what about those times when it’s a diagnosis that threatens our life, a relational wound, a deep disappointment, losing a loved one, or the loss of a job?
How Do We Handel The Unexpected
The short answer is to live expectantly. What does it mean to live expectantly?
Well, if we look at God’s Word, Abraham gives us a good example.
“Abraham trusted God, and when God told him to leave home and go far away to another land that he promised to give him, Abraham obeyed. Away he went, not even knowing where he was going.” Hebrews 11:8 (TLB)
There it is, trust. Living expectantly is trusting God in every chapter of your story.
Now I’ll be honest; I can remember when I was a young believer, and I first read that verse I thought Abraham was crazy to pack up and head out not knowing where he was going, or what he would face when he got there. But I didn’t fully start to understand it until God asked me to do the same thing three years ago.
I obeyed and set out on an adventure, a new season in life without a clue about how I would make ends meet financially or where this season of life would take me. But I determined to trust Jesus. Trust is another word for faith. Believing He is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do.
It means life with Jesus is designed to be an adventure, not a play-it-safe, take no risks existence. You see if we shrink back instead of trusting Him we settle for a less than existence, never realizing our full potential and living the story He created us to live.
Ironically, as I was writing this post, Christine Caine’s new book came out. The title of the book is “Unexpected – Leave Fear Behind, Move Forward In Faith, Embrace the Adventure.” Are you kidding me? I ordered it right away, and it did not disappoint.
I’ll close with this quote from the book: “What is possible is accepting His gracious invitation to trust Him more in the face of our pain. To move into deeper intimacy with Him and let Him heal our hearts. To develop relentless faith so that the next time life throws us a curve ball—which life most certainly will—we are able to bat it out of the park and still live the adventure He’s planned for us. And maybe we’ll even live a version of the adventure that’s beyond what we could ever have hoped or imagined—all because of the unexpected that interrupted our lies in the first place.”
If you would like to learn more and dive much deeper into dealing with the unexpected things that come your way I recommend that you read Unexpected by Christine Caine. I guarantee you won’t regret it. You can order it here (this is an affiliate link*).
What unexpected events are you dealing with in your life right now? How are you going to deal with them?