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When Life Takes a Detour

Are you a flexible person? If plans suddenly change, are you able to just roll with it? Or do you find it more difficult to pivot when things change at the last minute?

I’m finding that most people like to have a plan. They like to be in control of what happens in their lives, and when things are uncertain, most people tend to experience some anxiety. Or a lot of anxiety.

The last five months of our lives have certainly been an example of the effects uncertainty has on most of us. Across the country, parents are trying to determine what their children will do in regards to their children’s education for the upcoming school year. Vacations and other plans have been derailed. Church Camps around the country have been forced to take the summer off. And I think we can all agree that when we kicked off the new year back in January, we weren’t thinking we would spend so much time this year wearing masks.

The year 2020 has taken a drastic detour. We have had to change plans, reschedule, and rethink the way we do many things in our lives. This year has been filled with disappointment and cancelled plans. There is one thing that I find myself continually needing to be reminded of: This pandemic was not a surprise to God. While I don’t believe God caused this pandemic, I do believe it didn’t catch him by surprise.

I find myself in need of continuous reminders that God is still in control, even when our world seems completely out of control. If you’re like me, you may need these reminders too. And one thing I know to be true, these reminders only come when I am intentionally digging into God’s word. When I spend time in prayer, asking God to show up. You see, like most situations in life, when I experience a detour, I have a choice: I can worry and complain about my situation—which proves to only increase my anxiety and rob me of my joy. Or I can increase my time with my heavenly father. Spend more time confessing my fears and listening to His guidance. And spend as much time as I can digging deeper into his word, which will only remind me of his goodness and his faithfulness. And his steadfast love. And those reminders are what bring me a peace that surpasses all understanding.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

“ Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

“ Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lead on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will make your path straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33