I received an email yesterday that made me sick to my stomach. (Why do I insist checking email while waiting to pick up my son from basketball practice? Nothing good can come from that.) 

This email surprised and knocked the breath out of me. The irony being that it wasn’t exactly news to me. It’s about something I have known for a while was going to happen but knowing it’s on the horizon threw me. 

So, I experienced about sixty-seven emotions under ten seconds. And I tried not to act like anything was off when my son got in the car. 

But I shared the news with my sweet mentor, and this is what she said: 

“You are the same Elisabeth you were before you heard…with the same Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. Ponder that bigger, truer, eternal reality.” 

Seriously…brilliant, right? 

And this can be said for you, for any circumstance that takes you by surprise. First of all, because it doesn’t take God by surprise in the least. I’ve heard it said that whatever happens to us must first pass through the loving hand of God to get to us. And it only gets to us if he intends to do something good with it. So, breathe that in deeply. 

And then, really, if you’ve been thrown recently…glance back up and re-read those words from my friend. There is a bigger, truer, eternal reality that we’re dealing with here. Our lives can feel so small and overlooked. The details that torture us can leave us feeling unseen. But we’re not unseen. Our lives are not overlooked. We are not abandoned to the whims of circumstance and storms and other people’s choices.  

We are, in fact, hemmed in by a good God. He is the God who sees. He is the God who provides. He is the God who goes before. He is the God who protects. He is the God who guards you at your right hand. He is the God who fights for you. He is the God who knows. He is the God who loves.  

Hand that God your surprise, your thrown-ness.  Let that God – that big, true, eternal God – quiet your soul.  Let that God bring you comfort and hope, no matter the surprises that come.

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