The Unexpected

Last week I was very excited because I knew that 2 of our 3 children were going to be home for the weekend. Saturday night was a big night for football with UGA playing Florida. We have 2 Georgia Bulldogs in the family. Carolina was playing Tennessee and not only is Bill a USC fan, but both Brewer’s and Thomas’ girlfriends are Gamecocks. And to top it off, Clemson was playing Florida State and ya’ know the boys and I are Tigers through and through.

I spent all week making meal plans and preparations. I bought all the stuff to make a big lasagna ahead of time so that I could pull it out of the fridge and pop it in the oven which meant no one would have to be grilling. Saturday morning I got up bright and early to put together my crock pot sausage dip. I also pulled the lasagna out of the fridge so that it could get to room temperature during the day which would make cooking it easier.

I loved having every thing basically done so that I could spend my day with Collins. It was her first time home since getting married and we had much running around to do. As our Saturday progressed I called and invited some friends to come for dinner and to watch the games.

Things all day had moved along so nicely, from getting Collins’ car serviced, to finalizing the exchange of wedding gifts, to popping by and seeings some friends and their kids, to getting to work out together, and we even got a manicure. As we came home to get ready for our company that would be arriving within the hour, I opened the oven to pop in the lasagna.

To my surprise as I went to reinforce the tin foil over the dish, I noticed how light the dish was…like nothing was in it. I removed the tin foil to discover there was only a tad bit of lasagna left in the pan. I was so shocked.

I looked at Bill who looked at me. He thought we had come home and eaten it for lunch. He mentioned that he thought it was funny to come in from working out to find lasagna on the floor and all down the cabinet, which he said he wiped up.

THAT WAS THE BIG CLUE.

I looked over at our young yellow lab Sadie who looked GUILTY and SICK at the same time. It was unusual that she didn’t meet us at the door and never left her mat. It was obvious that she had scarfed down 3 pounds of lasagna. I was so mad…so mad…..all that hard work and planning…GONE…in the belly of our COW-eyed, droopy-eyed lab.

My mind kept going in circles…picturing her jumping on the counter and scarfing down the lasagna and having it drip all down my cabinets. When I turned to say, “Sadie, did you eat this lasagna?” she looked away. Well, so much for the the homemade meal for our family and friends and thank God for Dominos.

Point of post…our best planning…our best efforts…and hard work…toward a goal…can just vaporize…in a moment…..in the blink of an eye.

We can make a list. We can get up early. We can organize and visualize what we are going to do…and make every effort to execute…but often times…God can redirect…or the “enemy” can interrupt our best efforts. Proverbs 19:21 tells us, “There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.”

How we handle life’s “flat tires” and the unexpected can make us or break us. Seriously. I know that our lab eating our dinner is not and was not the end of the world but it was from the “enemy.” LOL! It was very unexpected and I had put some work and effort into a plan that went very wrong.

So many times we can just stay focused and stuck on the “foiled” plans but it is in our best interest to redirect our focus. Asking God, ”What next?” or “What now?” Get into the word. We are told, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).

Sometimes life’s unexpected interruptions can be for our greater good. I have for sure seen it time and again. Several weeks ago, being delayed from leaving home from an unexpected phone call, I left 30 minutes later than planned. Leaving late and praying through my frustrations, I discovered 10 minutes into my trip that if I had left on time, I may have been part of a serious car accident that was on the interstate.

I don’t know for sure but the timing was a little eerie. I also remember on my flight to Israel this past spring that I did not get the seat that was assigned. A seat in the front with more leg room. As we were in flight I found that in my alternate seat assignment I had the opportunity to encourage and share Christ with a very discouraged young college student. It was only when I was at baggage claim that I realized my “messed up seat” assignment was a God intervention.

I encourage you to start looking at all of life’s interruptions as a time to stop and say, “OK God, do You have something here for me to do? Or something here for me to learn?”

It may just be to recognize that our best efforts are sometimes in vain. We need God to direct and redirect our thinking and our actions at times. To realize He is a God who changes the times and seasons. He deposes kings and raises up others. He reveals deep and hidden things. He knows what lies in darkness and light dwells in Him. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.

When life doesn’t go exactly the way you planned, turn to an ALL-KNOWING God and seek His heart, His face and His purpose. He can and will take everything and work it for the good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose even if it means you have to call “Dominos” instead of eating a home cooked meal.

“How wise should we be if, with joyful certainty, we accepted each unfolding of His will as a proof of His faithfulness and love!” ~Susannah Spurgeon

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