God Can Use the Unexpected

“I just don’t see how this is going to work.”

Staring into the woman’s eyes, my heart immediately broke. I bit my lip to keep from crying tears of frustration and disappointment. I felt my blood begin to boil as she turned to leave the office.

I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs…or burst into tears and run away. Instead, I simply sat at my desk and acted like nothing had happened.

But something had happened. I had been majorly disappointed. Again. When would I learn not to have high expectations?  

Expecting the Worst

I re-realized this week that life is full of unexpected outcomes. “Re-realized” is the best term for it because some things I can’t seem to remember. So I realize them, forget them, and realize them again.

Specifically, I just can’t seem to remember how foolish it is to have high expectations. Rarely does life happen as I predict.

The details of my recent experience are dull and complicated, but, essentially, my expectations were not met. After days of preparation and expectancy, my plans failed. I felt crushed inside because of the unexpected turn of events.

I had expected that everything would work out according to my plan. I had truly believed that I would have success. I didn’t (and still don’t) understand how my plan didn’t succeed.

Now I am left with unanswered questions and frequent doubts. I’m tired of wringing my hands because of future decisions I now must make. I feel even more anxious because my plan didn’t come to pass.

But Trusting God’s Best

Of course, I can keep doubting, wringing my hands, and feeling anxious. That would be the easy option. But the hard option—and the more worthwhile option—would be to trust that God’s plan is coming to pass.

“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14 ESV)

Esther was chosen by King Ahasuerus to be queen, even though there were many other women he could have picked instead. She just “happened” to be a Jew who just “happened” to be given the opportunity to save her people. Perhaps she had not planned to be queen or discover Haman’s plot to exterminate her people. But that’s what happened.

And through these unexpected outcomes, God used her in unexpected ways. She rescued her people from death and destruction.

Unexpected Outcomes Don’t Have to = Disappointment 

Even though disappointment hit me hard recently, that doesn’t mean I have an excuse to curl up in a ball and pout. God is working in ways that I can’t always observe or understand, but His plan is at work. He can use me—and you—even in our disappointment.

Maybe you didn’t get accepted into that college or make that sports team or find that job or meet that special someone or have that event or achieve that goal for a reason. Because God is leading you somewhere better.

Yes, things don’t always happen as we plan. We often experience surprises, and that’s okay. Even when our expectations are disappointed…even when things don’t happen as we plan…even when we are confused by life’s outcomes…that doesn’t mean God isn’t working.

Because when we face unexpected outcomes, God can use us in unexpected ways.

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