Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Plan B

Take a look around you the next time you go to the mall, to the supermarket, to the movies. People are everywhere. Thousands and thousands just in the small vicinity around you. Widen that circle and the numbers grow exponentially. Every single one of these people with even the least bit of wear on their tires has known disappointment and hurt. From divorce, to relationship struggles, to death, to accidents, to health issues, to family problems. Nobody is immune to immense and sudden shocks to their lives. Shocks that force life to flow suddenly in a direction away from what was known or what was expected. This is a "Plan B" moment. Such times have the potential to wreak havoc on our faith and our relationship with God.

"We tend to think God is with us only when everything is working great and all the charts in our life are going up and to the right. We think that our Plan B situations are signs that we're not where God wants us to be. We think our suffering is a sign that we're getting something wrong, not evidence that God is at work to teach us and bring us blessing."

In his book Plan B (subtitled - What do you do when God doesn't show up the way you thought he would?), Pete Wilson shares his thoughts on how to approach such times in our lives. In the heat of the moment, in the depth of the devastation, he does not advocate easy answers. That notion is trite and meaningless and does no good. Instead he advocates an approach of developing a relationship with God that is tried and tested and understood well before the tidal wave strikes (not if it strikes, but when it strikes). It is O.K. to grieve and cry. It is O.K. to mourn loss. However, if we are prepared, we will never feel abandoned or forgotten. We may feel unbalanced, unsteady, and out of control, but if we cultivate a strong relationship with God, we will appreciate and grasp that He is always in control in our lives. This is not a book of answers, but a book of comfort and fellowship and perspective.

"Sometimes in the emotion of the moment, our minds play tricks on us. We think our loss is worse than it is. Like David when he recalled what he knew rather than what he feared, his sense of loss turned into a song of praise (Ps. 13:5-6)" - M. DeHaan