By John Ashley
Life has a way of surprising us. Situations arise that catch us off guard and, most times, unprepared. Many times the unexpected events are life changing. The unexpected by definition is something we are not expecting, however we can be prepared for life’s surprises before they happen. When we fly on an airplane we are informed of procedures to be taken in the event of an emergency; if we take a cruise we must muster in an area of the ship so we know what to do if we must use the life boats. No one is expecting an emergency, but we are preparing in the event that the unexpected happens.
There is a Biblical account of a man who lost all his earthly possessions and his children in one day. this man’s name was Job. His life was changed forever in a moment of time. His immediate response is astounding to me; It is recorded in Job 1:20-21 “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job worshipped, and blessed the Lord! The Bible in no way says that he had joy or gave thanks, but he didn’t fall apart either.
There are three things that I believe prepared Job to be able to endure such tremendous pain and grief, that we too can put in practice to be prepared for the unexpected situations in our lives.
- Have a Walk With God – God said of Job that there was no one like him in all the earth; he feared God and avoided evil. Job’s standing before God was that of a man who had integrity and a relationship with his creator. For us to be prepared for the unexpected, we must be in good standing with the God of the universe. Jesus declared Himself to be the only way to have a relationship with the Father. John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” We must come to God through Jesus Christ in order to have a walk that will sustain us in our trials.
- Have a Prayer Life – The Bible tells us that Job sacrificed for his children on a continual basis, meaning he was at an altar praying for them. He interceded for his family by a consistent time of prayer. He stayed in communion with the Lord. If we are to be prepared for the unexpected we need to have a consistent prayer life. We are good at calling on God after the unexpected happens, but if we are in constant communication with God before it happens, we can be assured that he hears us like a father hears the cry of his child.
- Have a Witness for Christ – Job said that he had an active faith in God. Job 3:26 “I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.” Job was a man who put his faith on display for others to see. Even though he was a faithful man in the eyes of God, he still suffered beyond anyone I have ever met. If we serve God and have an active faith, it is no guarantee of a life free of problems. However, that active faith will produce a strength in us that will come from the God we serve. The Lord will use us to show His power, grace and strength to others.
Job is my favorite book of the Bible. It has been a companion of mine through the toughest trials in my life. Job’s testimony is not that of a super human; it is that of a man that was prepared for the unexpected. We too must be prepared for that phone call, diagnosis, or accident, that will shake our world and change our lives. We can know the grace and strength that Job experienced if we prepare for the unexpected.
To read more about finding God’s Grace and Strength In Spite Of Trials and Tragedy, click on the link below to purchase the Johnny Ashley story.