“And suddenly there arose a great storm in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves, but He was asleep.” Matthew 8:24
I’ll never forget it. I can see in my mind, in slow motion, the incident. How many of you owned a banana seat bike? Our large family of 13 had one. It was light blue, with a white seat, big blue daisies were all over it, a perfect artistic master piece. My sister actually had the owner rights but she was kind enough to let me ride it once in a while. I was in fourth grade, loud and proud. After school was dismissed I ran to the bike rack excited to have the privilege of riding the bike home that day. My sister was on the back holding on tight, when down the steep hill we went, as fast as my little legs would let me go, our hair blowing in the wind. It was amazing! The faster the better! Then suddenly…out of no where, a bully threw a stick out in front of the bike… on purpose. The jerk! I didn’t have time to stop. It was a horrendous crash. I went flipping off the bike flat on my face. My sister about landing on top of me. We were scraped up and bleeding bad! I still have a scar on my knee to prove it! The beautiful blue bike lay in a mangled mess, like a crushed soda can. I was furious. I ran home, storming through the door announcing the incident at the top of my angry, crying lungs! In an instant, my oldest brother rose to the occasion, running out the door ready to meet up with this bully and give him a piece of his mind. It was not a pretty sight. My sister and I went to school the next day looking like Santa Claus; white bandages on our chins, knees and elbows. Everyone was asking what in the world happened!
It all happened so fast, so suddenly! How could someone be so mean? Why would he do that to us? Didn’t he realize who he was messing with? Anyone mistreating an Odum girl had to face 6 brothers and a dad who would be sure vengeance took place. What in this world happened?
We can all relate to a suddenly. Those moments that completely take us by surprise, unexpectedly. The accident that wasn’t your fault, that car that turned in front of you, totaling your car. That person who cut you off in line and sudden rage tore through you, tempting you with words that you never dreamed you would ever say. The phone call catching you suddenly by surprise, announcing the death of a loved one. Jealousy shows up on the job, and your job is suddenly in jeopardy. You are misunderstood, assumptions are made and your reputation is suddenly gone. You post a picture on Facebook and it makes someone upset, creating havoc you never expected. These sudden moments can change us…for life. Without notice they come. They leave footprints on our heart that will last the rest of our lives. Uninvited but inviting us to make a choice. What we do about these “suddenly” moments is so important.
Spiritually, what happens to us when our suddenly comes? Will we make bitter decisions or better decisions? Will we decide to fight back or lay back and let God handle it? It’s not easy. Our flesh was created to defend, the desire to fight back, to win. There is nothing wrong with the fight in us but if our attitude and spirit are wrong, we can fight until we are blue in the face and lose every battle. Fight, but do it with God and with a right spirit. You will always lose having a wrong spirit, period. You will always win having the right spirit, always! God has our best interest at heart whether it looks like it or feels like it or not, He does. Even when it seems as though others have won over us, regardless if we feel defeated, it is guaranteed that a right spirit always wins. Our suddenly will come. It will come uninvited, without warning, blind siding you, pushing you into darkness, into territory unfamiliar to you. With a right spirit, our suddenly’s become our greatest asset because God always has our best interest at heart.
What keeps us prepared when these suddenly’s come is so important. You want to be ready and we can be. You will suddenly wake up one morning, or run into someone, or get an email, or phone call and in a moment, your circumstance will begin to work in your favor. You will feel the weight has lifted, doors have swung open and the promises that God had for you all along begin to unfold into a beautiful new awakening. It could take years, but regardless of the length of time, it will be worth the wait, if we are prepared. Don’t give in and fight the suddenly with your ugly flesh wanting desires, God made us to conquer, He made us for more. He wants to live through us, in us and for us but we have an enemy that realizes our potential with God. He will fight us emotionally, spiritually, physically, through our dearest friends and our loved ones, to defeat us. Our greatest enemy is playing havoc with our emotions and thought process and he will send careless people into our lives to derail us and get us off course but God will win when we choose, during these sudden moments in life, to stay calm and let Him fight for us.
Here is how we fight the battle. Be strong in the Lord and lean on Him. Keep your vessel filled with prayerful fuel and keep a guard over your heart. Don’t be tempted to take things into your own hands. God has a purpose in every single one of us, and when our souls are completely yielded to Him, He will see that and take notice. What happens next is nothing short of the miraculous! Keep a right spirit.
When Michael, the bully, through that stick in front of my bike that day, it came suddenly. It tore my skin, it left me bleeding, bruised and mad but I healed from it. Later in life when men suddenly came against our ministry, when a murderer suddenly walked through our door, when my cancer diagnosis suddenly came, when diabetes came to my husband, when our reputation was suddenly being destroyed, we were ready for these suddenly unexpected moments. We didn’t harbor bitterness, we stayed faithful, we continued in prayer, we let the suddenly’s grow us and we watched the miraculous miracle story God had for us unfold. You can to!