God has control over “suddenly”
Jane Clamp explains how we can cope with those “Suddenly” moments in our lives.
I expect you’ve noticed how the weather patterns change in this country. One day, we’re in the murk of a damp spring, the next we’re peeling off layers as the temperature leaps up by several degrees without warning (or, if we were warned, we didn’t dare believe the good weather forecast). Then, even as I write this in early September, there is a nip in the air announcing the arrival of autumn after our glorious summer, when only yesterday I’d sat out in the sunshine.
I don’t much like surprises. It’s not a need-to-be-in-control thing, more a case of sensibly wanting to plan, whether that’s blocking out space in my calendar or deciding ahead of time what to wear. Most of us have a fairly clear idea of how the immediate future is going to pan out – our thinking easily embraces both the “now” and the “tomorrow”. But, however much we want it to be, life is simply not that tidy. It is peppered with those “suddenly” moments.
There are good ones, of course. That chance meeting that turns out to be pivotal in your career or love-life. Cresting the brow of a hill and being confronted by a landscape so stunning that you are literally stopped in your tracks. A cheering letter coming out of the blue. Maybe even a windfall. But, then again, there are those “suddenly” moments that no one saw coming, whose impact causes devastation. A loved one leaves. An illness is diagnosed. A pregnancy is lost. Redundancy is announced.
We had an unexpected bereavement at the beginning of August. A very much-loved family member took a dramatic downturn in his health and passed away with barely time to gather the family together. Only a week later, the partner of a dear friend died. It doesn’t really matter whether the loss was expected. We find ourselves reeling with shock as well as grief and the path we walk on becomes cast in shadow and peppered with pot-holes.
Psalm 112:7 says, “They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”
Who are “they” exactly? Verse 1 tells us it’s those who fear the Lord and find delight in his commands – people like you and me, perhaps? So, is this verse something we can hold onto when we are side-swiped by life’s events? Let’s face it, we need something to steady ourselves when knocked off balance, and who better than God himself, who promises that he will bear us up with everlasting arms? More than that, we deliberately place our faith in the one who sees the end from the beginning, whose purposes are always good, even when bad things happen.
When those “suddenly” moments occur, remember they are never a surprise to God. He has it all under control.
The image above is courtesy of https://pixabay.com
Jane Clamp is the author of Too Soon, a devotional on the subject of miscarriage, published by SPCK in August 2018. A member of the Association of Christian Writers, she writes for local and national radio. In her spare time she is an interior designer and musician.
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