Recently a friend commented to me “Many things happen where we least expect.”
I haven’t been able to shake that comment as it has turned around in my mind feeling for a place to wedge in. The thing is that this sort of true statement removes all control from our hands. As if we ever had any! And it puts the element of surprise back into our life. But sometimes surprising things can be devastating, so we are unsure if we really want something to happen when we least expect it.
Moving to the coast left me wondering how well my salsa garden could grow in the sandy soil and harsh sunlight. But we worked hard to pull together a precious little garden anyway and hoped for the best. Our little backyard garden has reaped a bigger, healthier harvest this year than in past years and past soils. Granted, the plants are not planted in the sand but rather in raised pots of nutritious soil. But still the salt air and environment is not what I expected to be able to yield such a harvest.
How is it that sometimes we really do see how things happen where we least expect them? Sometimes God shows us where we least expect Him.
He is in the fiery furnace.
He is in the soft gentle whisper.
He is in the cleft of the Rock.
We often find ourselves in places we didn’t expect to be but if we will ask Him for eyes to see, we discover He is right there too.
In our trials and losses, pains and fears He stand right in the midst of it all holding us with unseen hands.
Psalm 46 verse 1 opens with the promise that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” He is right there. Not just present but very present.
The psalm goes on to direct our hearts to adjust our lens to better see and recognize Him there. The psalmist tells us since He is present, we can be without fear, regardless of what falls apart around us. This is a hefty call. A crumbling marriage or wayward child or life threatening illness are as devastating as the earth giving way. And yet it is right there where the Lord is present; therefore, we can be without fear of what will happen because He is very present.
We can also make the choice to meditate on what He has done in the past. Verse 8 invites us to “come behold the works of the LORD.” How He has destroyed enemies and ceased wars, even those from within us that cause us such turmoil. Do you remember what He has done for you in the past? Do you remember how He displayed His power in your life before? Meditate on that, recall that to mind.
Finally, we come to the most familiar directive many of us know, we are to “be still and know that [He is] God” in verse 10. The reason we can be still in the midst of earth giving way is because the promise we have from verse 1, He is a very present help in trouble. Because He is near, nearer than my own skin, I can be still, cease scrambling for control and manipulation, and just know He is the One who is God and holds all things together well. Including me.
Many things do indeed happen where we least expect them. Good, bad and ugly. I can’t possibly expect what will happen next or from which trials the greatest fruits will grow. But I can expect that my God will be very near in every trial, pain and loss. As I lay down my fears and trust Him, remember what I have seen Him do in the past and get still, knowing He is God then I will begin to see healthy fruit grow.
Take time to sit before the Lord today and dig into His life-giving word with my simple method that has helped me to see Him in the midst of troubles. Drop your email below and I will send it to your inbox.