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UR: Unexpected Route

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace.
In the world you have tribulation,
but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 (NAS)

Surely it isn’t morning already! Oh, but it is! Ten until seven. Ten more minutes to nestle in my “tickle-lock-all-the-way-round” Hiding Place.

In those last ten minutes I remind the Lord of some people about whom I am very concerned (as if He needed to be reminded), I remind myself of things I need to do today, and head for the closet to get dressed. Then, a resounding thud! I rush toward the noise and find an unexpected fall, with blood flowing freely from a head gash. (Oh! How the head loves to let us know just how important it is with that profuse bleeding act!) I finally get the blood under control and head (no make-up, hair sticking out in every direction) for the ER, the place you have to go sometimes when you take an Unexpected Route in your day. Most of that day is spent watching and listening. Jeff, an ER paramedic is so nice to me: Can I get you anything? Coffee? Orange juice? A sandwich? Ice cream? “No. I’m okay. Thank you.”

So you are a silent observer. You wonder what happened when a new patient is rolled by and how seriously injured the person might be. There always seems to be some family members following the gurney. The children are quiet walking down the halls solemnly behind their big brother, eyes wide, shoes untied, wondering. There’s very little moaning or conversation, just concern etched deeply on the faces you see. Everything seems to be pretty well under control just now.

Jeff comes by again. Think of anything I can get for you yet? “No, You have been so very helpful. Thank you.” We spent most of the day with the “watching, waiting, and wondering what next” routine, then home, and finally back to my “tickle-lock-all-the-way-round” Hiding Place.

I had no idea at ten until seven what was going to come into my life. God knew. Every day of my life was written down in His book before there was a single day of my life lived! That is so utterly awesome! Not that He planned it! He permitted it! He saw it with His omniscience before I was born! He knew I was going to have rough days, days where I would face Unexpected Routes, days where I would meet tribulation face to face! He knew, too, that I would need Him, especially on those days when my world had taken an unexpected spin and He tried so hard to convince me that He was going to be with me, no matter what Unexpected Route I might face.

So what do I need to do in this world of UR’s? I need to expect them, not think that life is one long birthday party with ice cream and cake! URs are going to be a part of my life as long as I am on Planet Earth! Think of your favorite Bible story. Was there a UR in the story? Your favorite Bible character. Was there a UR in his/her life? The people around you who are dealing with a UR now! In my world today I have a dear one with breast cancer facing chemo; a dear one with divorce in her family and she, as “granma,” is taking care of the abandoned children; a dear one whose husband is going to be on dialysis for the rest of his life; and a dear one who left this earth just last night, but is now pain free and loving Heaven! URs abound all around us!

God doesn’t protect us from URs; He goes through the UR with us, meeting that UR with calmness, a confidence, an acceptance that shocks us because we know we are not capable of doing that! He does it through me! Does that mean I won’t fold at all, that I’ll be a “cool cucumber” all the way through? Hardly! Folding is very much a part of life and a necessary part! God made us. He knew there would be times when we would fold. That’s one of the reasons He gave us adrenalin!

So God looks at my book and says, “Hmmm. Anabel is going to have a UR today, a very difficult one. I’m so glad that she has learned through the years that her strength is in Me. I love her so much and I do not want her to face these Unexpected Routes without Me.”

“The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you;
He will be with you.
He will not fail you or forsake you.
Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Deuteronomy 31:8

Thank You my precious Jesus for loving me so much, for watching over me so carefully, for being with me constantly. You know my heart. You know that I don’t always cling to Your hand tightly like I need to or nestle close to You, but I long to face each UR in Your strength, drawing from Your infinite supply of love.
Goodnight, dear Lord. I’m heading for my “tickle-lock-all-the-way-round” Hiding Place – YOU!

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.