Life sometimes don’t turn out as we plan. It begins uneventful enough, just as we think it should. No ripples. No bumps in the road. Smooth sailings all the way. Then on a dime, something happens to change the trajectory forever. Joni Eareckson-Tada dove into shallow water and broker her neck, leaving her a quadriplegic. At the height of his popularity, Franklin D. Roosevelt was stricken with polio. When Bethany Hamilton was fourteen, she took her surfboard to catch a few waves and was attacked by a shark, losing her arm.
When tragedy happens, our lives–and faith–can be rocked. How could a loving God let this happen? Why did this have to happen to me?
When tragedy strikes—and it visits many—it helps to remember the heart of God. His word says:
He knew us before we were born (“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13).
That he has plans for us (“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11).
But most importantly, it’s okay if we don’t understand (“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8).
Joni, FDR and Bethany’s lives were changed in a breath. But each have been blessed beyond measure. It might not have been their plan, but God gave them the grace and blessings to travel the journey.
And if you’re taking a journey you didn’t plan, God has grace enough for you, too.