We think that when we give our lives to Christ, we can now expect smoother sailing through the ups and downs of life. We look at social media and think that we’re the only family who is struggling with a difficult season. But in reality, all of us experience setbacks or detours in the life that we’ve planned!
I know that it is not a biblically true expectation that becoming a Christian means I will have an easier life. In fact, Scripture is clear that the opposite is often true! Yet in my humanity and the cultural expectation of the easy Christian life, I find myself disappointed and upset when life does not go as expected. I sometimes even find myself angry at God or feeling resentful that He did not work things out the way that I thought were best.
This past weekend, I drove out of state to visit some friends. The drive was smooth and predictable. Even the heavier traffic as I approached Washington, D.C. was predictable. And then, we stopped for about an hour. Yes, an hour. Sitting on the highway. There was no detour to take; nothing to do but wait.
Did I enjoy this setback? Nope. I missed lunch with a dear friend. But of course, in the grand scheme of life, this extra hour on the road is barely a blip on the screen.
Yet I had options in that extra hour on the road. Should I complain, vent, whine, and dwell in the emotions of frustration and annoyance? Should I put on another podcast and use the time to gain knowledge or enjoy entertainment? Should I speed up the shoulder of the highway to gain an extra few minutes?
There are several reasons why life sometimes includes setbacks and detours. We’ll look at each over the next few weeks, but let’s take a big-picture view.
- God’s plans are bigger than our plans. We think that we know best, but He actually does know best.
- The brokenness of the world should and does interrupt us, distract us, and grieve us.
- God brings and allows trials and difficulties in life in order to refine our faith or teach us important things. He never tempts us, but He does bring trials.
If you are struggling with the setbacks and detours of life, iHope has a new 8-week group starting on Wednesday, July 10th(running for 8 Wednesdays during the lunch hour, 12-1PM) with a few spots still left. Registration will close on Monday, July 8th. It will be a helpful and encouraging group, and you can learn more and register online by clicking RIGHT HERE.