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  • Jim Daniel

Dealing with the Unexpected


The Weather Channel revealed their February forecast on January 21st. A map of the United States was displayed with the state of Texas covered by a dark red circle predicting an unseasonably warm month. Less than three weeks later, the coldest temperatures and some of the biggest snowfalls in over a hundred years reached Texas, Arkansas and other southern states.


If 2020 was a year of the unexpected, then 2021 has begun the same way. Once again, many churches are dealing with this new challenge brought about by the weather. I talked to an elderly church member yesterday. I asked her, “Have you ever seen anything like this winter storm in your lifetime.” Her answer was a quick, “Not in my 87 years of living in this area.”


We have probably heard the saying, “Expect the Unexpected.” Last year, we all had our fill of the unexpected with the pandemic. The winter storm of 2021 has given us another encounter with the unexpected. We can add our own personal encounters with the unexpected. “I did not see that coming.” I have repeated that sentence more than a few times over the last year.


How do we respond when the unexpected arrives? Jesus said this about life’s tribulations including the unexpected, “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


What a contrast from Jesus. In Him we have peace, while in the world we have trouble. If we look for peace from the world, we will be disappointed in the end. If we look for peace in any source outside of Jesus, we will never find or keep it. The world will let us down and will often give us the unexpected. When we look for peace in the church world, we can run into trouble. In almost forty years in ministry, I have yet to see a shortage of trouble in the local church.


We will experience the unexpected in our church world. People will let us down. We will likely disappoint others by what we did or did not do. Even in the church world we will have more than our share of troubles. Our peace is not in this world or even in the church world. Our peace is in Jesus. We can trust Jesus with our life. We are assured that He has overcome the world. His victory over sin, death and hell is now our victory.


We must see our success only in Jesus whose victory is our victory. If we look for success in the world, even the church world, then we will be disappointed. It’s never going to be perfect this side of eternity. Instead, expect the unexpected and keep your eyes on Jesus. In Him we have peace.


Still Waters Renewal provides a place for you to come and be renewed by Jesus as you get away from your crazy world of the unexpected. Sign up today for one of our 2021 retreats. We provide six days, five nights on us in the beautiful setting of Moro Bay State Park.

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