Nine months into the year 2020, the word “unprecedented” has become a household hashtag. Everything from COVID19, the west coast fires, hurricanes in the gulf and southern states . . . these and other events have been labeled “unprecedented” according to the media and news streams.
“Unprecedented” means an event, experience, or unparalleled, extraordinary happening that has never existed before. Without question, the events of 2020 have been unexpected and painfully challenging, but they are not “unprecedented.” Today and throughout all of recorded history, our sovereign God remains in control. Mass hysteria, more rules, blaming and shaming people may continue, but I’ve never found those ways of problem solving to be of help.
Today you may be irritated, uncomfortable, frustrated, upset that God is allowing these circumstances. The loss of your home, job, reputation, or the judgment of others may be pulling your heart into great despair. I’m so sorry. I grieve with you! There’s nothing easy or simple when life is a mess and you’re wondering how God will make a way for you. These passages from Scripture have helped me through messy, unexpected seasons; I pray they will comfort and encourage you this very moment.
- Genesis 6-7—God told Noah to build an ark even though it had never rained. The people were evil, and God allowed the first flood which covered the earth and wiped out everyone but Noah and his family, for a greater purpose. Remember: God is still in control when natural disasters occur.
- Genesis 22:1-18—God told Abraham to sacrifice his only son, testing Abraham’s faith. At the last moment, a ram was provided for the sacrifice, sparing Isaac’s life. There are times when following God’s direction may not make any sense. Remember: Trusting God with the direction of our lives tests our faith and requires we rest in His willful provision.
- Joshua 2:1-24—God used Rahab, a prostitute, to make a way for the spies to enter the land He promised His people. Many times we look at who God uses and forget to look at God Himself. Remember: God is in control and uses whomever He chooses to carry out His plans.
- Daniel 3:1-30—Daniel refused to compromise his faith in God even though death was promised for those who refused to follow what the King ordered. Daniel was thrown into a den of ravenous lions who never touched him. Remember: God is in control of what happens to us and around us as we follow His will and not the will or ways of man.
- Luke 1:26-2:51—God chose an unwed teenage girl to carry, birth, and raise His only Son, Jesus. God made a way for Mary and Joseph in a time when, legally, Mary should have been an outcast or killed by stoning. Remember: God accomplishes His will even when all appears undone and hopeless; keep trusting Him.
I can’t think of a better picture of “reframing” than what is happening this year. Our entire lives have been disrupted, messy, out of sync with what we expected January 1, 2020. I know, things continue to be unsettled, but our God is not unsettled. When life is messy we tend to look for answers, and we ask questions that no one can answer . . . “When will ___”, or “What about ____” or “How come____.” Our Heavenly Father calls us to live in today, not wishing for the past or in control of the future—today, this moment, placing our full trust in Him.
Centuries ago, the prophet Isaiah was called to speak words of truth and hope to a nation that was splintered and falling apart. I came across Isaiah’s words the other day.
‘This is what the Lord says—he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters . . . look and see, I am doing a new thing! I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” (selections from Isaiah 43:16–19).
Interestingly, the word “new” in Hebrew means “unprecedented.” God’s work isn’t predictable. It often isn’t comfortable or convenient. We can be ripped apart with worry, anger, and unrest or we can find hope and peace by trusting in Him.
Let Me Hear from You
Wherever you find yourself today, what is the Lord calling you to let go of? Let’s encourage one another to walk in faith, recalling all He has done and promises to do in and through these messy seasons of life.
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