Text: Romans 8:26-39
Key Verse: We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose Romans 8:28 CEV.
Unexpected events occur due to reasons within and outside our control. Some are the outcome of wrong choices made by us or others, as in the case of Adam and Eve in the garden and Abel’s death in the hands of his brother Cain. In both cases, Eve and Cain made wrong choices, but the consequences of their actions did not affect them alone but others.
When Eve disobeyed God, she gave the devil the right to steal from her. She lost her fellowship with God and right to live in the garden, God’s glory upon her was replaced with nakedness, and she faced the judgment of God on all levels. The result of that choice still has devastating consequences for the human race.
One of the outcomes of Eve’s disobedience is that it produced a judgers’ mindset in man. We now have a mindset that is quick to find whose fault it is that certain events took place. While this is helpful at times, it also leaves us with a tendency to accuse, condemn and judge others. We also end up blaming ourselves for the wrong choices of others. All these lead to a dead end. This concept is better explained by the Choice path discovered by Marilee Adams of the Inquiry Institute.
“How did you know you were naked?” God asked. “Did you eat any fruit from that tree in the middle of the garden?” It was the woman you put here with me,” the man said. “She gave me some of the fruit, and I ate it.” The Lord God then asked the woman, “What have you done?” “The snake tricked me,” she answered. “And I ate some of that fruit.” – Genesis 3:11-13 CEV.
We can also choose to focus on what to learn from unexpected events and manage the outcomes; with God’s help, we can reverse or diminish its impact and prevent such occurrences in the future.
God modelled for us the Learners mindset; He asked the right questions, “Where are you?”, “How did you know you were naked?”, “Did you eat any fruit from that tree in the middle of the garden?”, “What have you done?”. All these questions produced illumination and did not aim at condemning them but clarifying the issue. They knew what they had done wrong, and the consequences were obvious.
The impact of their wrong choice produced shame and fear, but it did not lead them to a place of repentance. God judged the sin but made a way of escape because of his great love for man.
” You and this woman will hate each other; your descendants and hers will always be enemies. One of hers will strike you on the head, and you will strike him on the heel.” Then the Lord God made clothes out of animal skins for the man and his wife. – Genesis 3:12,15,21 CEV
For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge but to be its saviour. – John 3:16-17 GNT
Every test that you have experienced is the kind that usually comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; when you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out. – 1 Corinthians 10:13 GNT
When the unexpected happens, we must remember that God is present and willing to help us manage the situation. We must ask for his help to pursue the right course of action. As humans, we experience different emotions, feelings of sadness, fear, shame, and anger; this is natural when the unexpected occurs; even Jesus wept when his friend Lazarus died. We must manage our emotions so that they do not becloud our minds to prevent us from acting to repent, pursue and recover what has been stolen or lost.
God is present and will work things out for everyone who has experienced an interruption in life, some recovery takes days, some years, but God always works it all out for our good as long as we are his children and are willing to pursue his purpose for our lives.
Father, thank you for your presence in our lives to help us deal with life interruptions. We ask for the Holy Spirit’s help to make the right choices consistently.
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, help us to return first to you before we react. May our responses lead us away from condemnation but to recovery and restoration in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.