I have a delightful memory of racing my brother around the bumper car track, feeling certain that if I could press the accelerator far enough I could push him into the wall and leave him behind in my smoke. It never failed that before I could reach him, out of nowhere, a car from behind would bump into me knocking me off course. There I would sit shoved into the wall as the other cars were buzzing laps around the track. I well remember being stuck in a corner as the fun raced past me round after round. I clinched the steering wheel when I spotted him coming toward me. The brother that I had longed to bump into the wall came straight toward me. In shocking amazement it was the very bump that gained me re-entrance to the race. The pressure from his car pressing into mine actually set me free.
Sometimes that is exactly what life feels like. Your eye is on the goal in front of you and out of nowhere something jolts you pushing you into what feels like a dead-end. Just as you get up and out again, another bump presses into your side. You spend day in and day out trying to get re-started, unstuck and back on track. Staring at the wall leads to discouragement and frustration as it appears that the entire world is moving forward with no resistance. Asking “Why? Why? Why?” wastes time and brings on a negative spirit. Singing “Woe is me” deepens despondency.
So how should we deal with unexpected bumps in life?
Stare at God, not the wall.
“But my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge—do not give me over to death.” (Psalms 141:8)
Grieve and Worship.
“At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:20-21)
Refuse to blame God.
“In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” (Job 1:22)
Declare who God is.
“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.” (Habakkuk 3:18-19)
Expect God to rescue you.
“I am expecting the Lord to rescue me again, so that once again I will see His goodness to me. (Psalms 27:13)
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
“God stretches us and grows our faith as we face delays, difficulties, and dead ends. Praise Him while you wait for deliverance. You never know what may actually lead to your freedom.”
“Indeed, in our hearts, we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us.” (2 Corinthians 1:9-10)