Words of Hope: Surprise Journey

Dad loved surprises. We liked to take him and mom on a secret trip each year. It would be a 3-4 day trip within driving distance of our house. Dad LOVED the secret trip. He got so excited to guess where we were going. We all worked to throw him off the trail. One year, he was convinced we were heading to Montana but instead, we went to Kelowna, BC. He laughed and delighted in the surprise. Personally, I wouldn’t say I like surprises. I want to know everything ahead of time. I peek at Christmas presents; I find out at ultrasounds, I like to know. This need for control can interrupt my trust in God. I don’t know the future. I can’t guess at it. I am terrible at predictions, yet I try hard to guess what is coming. I want to know when we may face the end times. Should I be prepared for calamity? Will there be a war? What do I need to prepare?

You can tell all this desire to know is connected to a concern for safety, protection, and comfort. This is not something God promises. He doesn’t say, “IF you pass through the waters, He says WHEN.” Dad’s delight in the secret trip reminds me to trust God for the future. I need to let go trying to guess if there will be war, famine, anarchy, or abundance. Here is what I know: God is in control, and I am not. He knows the plans for me. He says His plans for me are good and not evil. He says He will be with me in the waters and in the fire. They will not consume me. I want to live life like Dad and the secret trip. He didn’t know and this was part of the joy. I want to have my hands out, ready for the journey ahead without fear.

“But now, this is what the Lord says—

he who created you, Jacob,

     he who formed you, Israel:

 “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;

     I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

 When you pass through the waters,

     I will be with you;

 and when you pass through the rivers,

     they will not sweep over you.

 When you walk through the fire,

     you will not be burned;

     the flames will not set you ablaze.

 For I am the Lord your God,

     the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” 

– Isaiah 43:1-3