We had a great weekend, enjoying being outside in beautiful weather. We have an overgrown raised garden on the property that we are working to reclaim, and Kevin was outside all yesterday afternoon, cleaning it out and tilling hard ground, adding good compost and creating a healthy bed for me to plant. He was tired when he came in, but a “good tired,” and settled into the evening in the usual way.

About 5:00 this morning, however, he woke up with a raging temperature, sore throat, and clogged ears, all seemingly out of nowhere. He has a very full week. Actually, we both do, with a huge fundraising dinner that we’re chairing, and a visit from his work home office. There is no time for the unexpected, and yet, here it is.

Sometimes sudden interruptions in our lives can feel more like a sucker punch. Certainly, an unexpected flu can knock you back, but what of the real body blows? What of the diagnosis of major illness, or the revelation of an affair, or sudden lay-off, or news of an addicted child? What of the things that literally punch the air right out of you and feel like they’re leaving you for dead?

In my experience, and if I’m to be honest, the initial response to the blow is the assumption that God has left the building. How could this happen? Why did this happen? AND WHERE THE HECK IS HE???

However, after the initial sting of the punch has subsided, and you’ve recovered the air that was knocked out of you, you realize that He didn’t leave at all; you were just thrown away from Him by the force of the blow. The rubber of your faith has just met the road, and it’s up to you to decide whether or not you’re willing to walk back to Him. I’m here to tell you that, if you dare to walk back, you’ll find out that this slam of the unexpected can be an extraordinary gift of faith-building. If you dare to put the pain in His hands, and let Him do whatever He sees fit with it (regardless of what you think the outcome should be), you will experience the love, the power, the freedom of God in a way you never have…in a way you never thought possible. You’ll watch as your faith solidifies into something unshakable, and the next time a left hook comes flying your way, it won’t knock you quite as far.

I won’t go so far as to say that I welcome life’s punches. However, I am thankful that it’s possible to make it to the other side, not only with your faith in tact, but with a strength of faith yet discovered, deepening every time we get up from a blow and dare to walk back to His arms…dare to trust the One who is never taken by surprise.


God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.” Romans 8:29-30 MSG

Desperate, I throw myself on you:you are my God! Hour by hour I place my days in your hand,safe from the hands out to get me. Warm me, your servant, with a smile;save me because you love me.” Psalm 31:14 MSG

When you go through deep waters,I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty,you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression,you will not be burned up;the flames will not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2 NLT

God is good, a hiding place in tough times. He recognizes and welcomes anyone looking for help, no matter how desperate the trouble.” Nahum 1:7 MSG