Attempting to discourage our puppy from digging small crater-sized holes in the backyard, I bought more cayenne pepper. Unfortunately, as the wind blew, I got more on me than the holes in my flower bed. Sitting at my computer later, I began to rub my eye. Boy, did that ever backfire.

I can also recall a time shortly after Matthew passed away when I needed to discipline our oldest son. He was probably 13 or 14 and at the time, our mode of discipline was the spanking spoon. A long-handled wooden spoon from the kitchen was always handy. About 6’ tall at the time, much bigger than me, he was obviously too big for the spanking spoon.

However, I was determined to get the upper hand. He was determined to get away and ran. What did I do? I chased him around the room until, eventually laughter set in. That plan didn’t work. Even the younger brothers were laughing. Talk about a plan going awry!

Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever been going about your day, thinking you’re doing the right thing, then surprise! The result was not what you expected. As a matter of fact, it was the opposite of what you were expecting.

God’s not surprised

It’s a good thing that nothing takes God by surprise. Jesus was not surprised when . . . 

  • Satan showed up to tempt Him in the desert. (Matthew 4:1-11)
  • Judas showed up with a kiss, starting a chain of events that led Jesus to the cross. (Matthew 26:47-49) 
  • Demons begged Jesus to allow them to enter a herd of pigs. That certainly backfired when the pigs ran down a steep bank and drowned. (Luke 8: 26-37)
  • Mary showed up and anointed Jesus’ feet with oil. (John 12:1-8) 

Jesus knows all about our pain, too, my friend. I have talked with many people this past week – people sharing stories of heartbreak, people looking for hope and comfort, people searching for answers and desperate for peace.  

We are not alone

Jesus knows we will go through hard times, but he doesn’t want us to go through them alone. He’s here for us. He’s not surprised by our situation and wants to be the one we run to.

He brings order out of our chaos, too. God took the earth that was without form and void, a dark empty mess — chaos — and turned it into light and life.

Our lives may seem a picture of chaos at times. But God’s word brings life and peace, undoing the chaos and bringing beauty and order.

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. (1 Corinthians 14:33)