Faithfulness in the Unpredictable

Written by Dr. Bill Bagents 

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die…” Ecclesiastes 3:1.

Some weeks grab your attention more than others. Recently, we visited two funeral homes and attended two weddings within the span of four days. On the day of one of the weddings, our nephew and his wife welcomed the birth of their daughter. Within that same week, friends were bruised in a car crash, another friend had surgery, and yet another received a serious medical diagnosis. Life’s inevitable and unpredictable flow surely makes us think.

We never know what’s around the next corner, and that may be a huge blessing (James 4:14). It should move us to humility. It should move us to appreciate our wondrously changeless Creator. It surely helps us avoid worry (Matthew 6:34). It should always move us to prayer and to gratitude that things are as well as they are.

Parts of life’s flow are both pleasant and beautiful. We welcome the cooler temperatures and the changing of the leaves. If the Lord sends it, we’ll enjoy some lovely snowfall this winter. By the time spring comes, we’ll need the newness of the first green-gold leaves (think of Robert Frost, “Nothing Gold Ever Stays”). We love precious weddings when God blesses young Christians to create new homes. There’s nothing more joyous than a birth, whether the arrival of a new child or the new birth that Jesus emphasized in John 3. There’s even a beauty in physical death when it’s remembered in light of John 14, 1 Corinthians 15, and Revelation 14:13.

Parts of life’s flow are unimaginably difficult. The illnesses, accidents, and disappointments of this sin-damaged world often break our hearts. We see people we love enduring unfair trials. Worse, we sometimes see people we love causing great pain. Even worse, we sometimes find ourselves contributing to the trials and pains of others. All this makes us long for the righteousness, purity, and peace of heaven (Revelation 21:1-4).

There are at least three things that we want to do in every circumstance of life’s uneven flow:
•We want to trust God even more than we trust ourselves (Hebrews 6:13-20).
•We want to serve God ahead of serving ourselves (Matthew 20:20-28).
•We want to love God even more than we love ourselves (Matthew 22:34-40).

In terms of what might happen tomorrow, we don’t know. In terms of what ultimately happens to all who are saved by grace through faith, we are certain (2 Timothy 4:6-8, Revelation 2:10b). One day we will awaken in God’s tomorrow, in God’s presence. One day we will be reunited with all the faithful of all the ages. One day we will see Him face to face, “And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17b). –Bill