When Life Goes Awry


"Take your son, your only son…and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you." Genesis22:2 NLT

Life is fickle. Just when I think I've figured it out, I experience or witness something that makes no apparent sense. Like recently. Ed, a local pastor and good friend, was on his way to a church member's house. They were off for a day of visiting. When Ed pulled up in the driveway, he was overcome with a bout of dizziness. Then a violent seizure grabbed him. His friend immediately called 911. Five more followed, the last so severe it dropped his heart rate, causing him to be placed on a ventilator. More than one week later, Ed is still on the ventilator, due to a swollen tongue and throat. My wife and I have spent hours with his family in the waiting room. Despite not knowing the outcome, I've never heard them question God's purpose. Life has gone awry, but they've not gone awry with it.

Abraham was in a similar senseless situation. He and his wife had waited years for God to deliver on His promise of a son. Now he's a young man, and God tells Abraham to journey to a nearby mountain and sacrifice him. Abraham doesn't question God but sets out to obey. Of course, God intervenes just as He'll do in Ed's case-though at the moment we don't know how.

Now that I've got more years behind me than before me, I've experienced quite a few "life goes awry" episodes. Like Abraham and Ed's family, I've had to learn to be content regardless of the situation. Knowing the character of the God I serve makes this easier-although it doesn't always take away my questions. Perhaps He'll answer those in the future-or perhaps it won't matter once I reach heaven. For now, I trust He's a loving God who always has my best interests at heart. He'll never do anything to harm me or destroy my trust in Him.

I've learned many vital spiritual lessons when life has gone awry. Let God teach and develop you when life appears to take a wrong turn.

Prayer: Father, we trust You to guide us in those times when life goes awry.

Martin Wiles Hodges, South Carolina, USA

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