For the last few weeks I’ve been looking forward to attending my younger sister’s college graduation. She is the first person in my family, aside from me to even attend college, so her graduation is a big deal to me. I’m so proud of her! I bought plane tickets, reserved a hotel room that was a block away from the school, and even rented a car. I got a good deal on the trip, but costs add up and it was expensive. Then the bomb dropped. The day before I was scheduled to arrive I called my mom. The conversation went something like this:

Me: “Hey mom, just wanted to find out the schedule for tomorrow after the graduation is over. Are we eating anywhere or is there a party or anything? What’s the plan?”

Mom: “Tomorrow?”

Me: “…….yeah….”

Mom: “The graduation is next Tuesday, not tomorrow.”

Me: “………………………”

So, the next couple of hours were spent on the phone with Priceline and United Airlines trying to switch the dates, but to no avail. I had gotten a great deal on a flight, but the restrictions were absolutely no refunds or changes. Arrghh!!!

I was frustrated, disappointed, and especially angry. But, what could I do? After talking with my wife, we decided the best thing to do was to go ahead down (there were no refunds anyway) and spend the time with family.

The result was that I was able to do just that. I had the privilege of getting to spend almost an entire day with my sister (whom I rarely get to see) whereas previously, she would’ve been so busy with the graduation and surrounding events that we barely would’ve talked at all. Sure, I won’t get to see the ceremony and that’s disappointing, but the time that we did have together was fantastic.

I was reminded of the Scripture from Romans 8:28 that says, “28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." So, God is able to take even mistakes and cause good to result when we submit our lives and our ways to him.

I had a great trip that turned out different than I had originally planned. God knew all along that I would be there when I was. I am trusting that my time there was for a reason that he knows. My job as a follower of Jesus in those types of unexpected moments is to trust him and be faithful. It would have been so easy to allow anger and frustration to take charge and for my experience there to be ruined. Instead, the Bible says not to allow anger to control us (Ephesians 4:26-27). To expand on that, we don’t have to allow any emotion to control us. The Apostle Paul says elsewhere that we are not to be mastered by anything (1 Cor. 6:12). How many times has a bad attitude, while angry or frustrated, caused a person to say or do something they regret? Countless times of course!

Even in those trying moments, God calls us to trust in him and be faithful in our words and deeds. He is not surprised by the things that surprise us, and is intimately concerned with the details of our lives. There is security and peace in that thought for the follower of Jesus.

I hope this story from my trip has encouraged you. May God bless you in all you do as you seek him!

Pastor Robert