“The Most Important Ability”

Posted on February 25, 2013 by


Two summers ago, we were at the beach vacationing as a family (my husband, two children and myself).  This is the same trip where the van battery died –  check out a great example of real life respect and submission here. We went out for ice cream at Friendlies, enjoyed the BEAUTIFUL evening and got back to the condo at 9pm and were surprised to see a police officer stopping each car that entered the parking lot. Apparently the condo had suddenly been condemned and we were all required to evacuate immediately.  Thankfully, we were planning to leave the next day (Thursday) anyway, so it wasn’t as big of an inconvenience and set back for us as it was for other families who had planned to stay several more days.

Greg and I started packing everything up right away.  Greg always handles things so calmly.  I LOVE that and admire that about him!  He doesn’t complain.  He doesn’t freak out.  He stays even-keeled and gets the job done.  It probably took us about two hours to get packed and get the luggage and all the groceries we could salvage to the van.  Our children were devastated.  They cried a lot about how they didn’t want to go.  Not to mention it was already way after their bedtime by the time we left – and they were exhausted.

I talked with them about how God is sovereign and that He might be preventing something awful from happening and that it is entirely possible that this was a huge blessing for our benefit – but that we just didn’t know yet what the blessing was.  I prayed with them and thanked God for the time we had shared together and even for the fact that we had to leave suddenly and that I trusted Him to use this somehow for His glory and our good.   I did not argue or complain.  (That is a God thing – He has empowered me to do that!  That was NOT the way I used to handle things!)  I made sure to be cheerful and upbeat and to just roll with the news and calmly do what we needed to do.  I thanked my husband for a wonderful vacation.  I hugged my children and smiled at them and told them I loved them many times.  We lived about 2.5 hours away from that beach, so Greg drove us home and we got back safe and sound around 1:00am.

When things don’t go as you expected or planned –  how do you react?

Our wonderful Sunday School teacher likes to say, “The most important ability is FLEXIBILITY.”

I think he is on to something.

Things often don’t work out the way we had planned. Jobs fall through.  Emergency expenses arise.  That guy we like doesn’t show interest in us. People die suddenly. Houses don’t sell when we want them to.  Traffic jams happen. The economy falters.  Storms happen.  Cancer visits our family.  We fall into temptation and sin and the consequences.  We make a really bad grade.  We don’t get our way about something important to us. Taxes go up.  Gas prices go up.  Pastors leave.  People sin against us.  Stomach viruses hit in the middle of the night.  Governments collapse.  Disasters strike.


When I can roll with the latest unexpected curve ball gracefully – I demonstrate that I understand God’s sovereignty and that I trust that He is allowing this thing to happen and will use it for my ultimate good and His glory.  So I don’t have to freak out.   I might not be able to see WHY something is happening at the time.  But I do trust my Lord.  And I trust that He’s got it under control and that I am safe in His hands.  I may suffer.  One day I will die.  One day my husband and children will die.  My greatest fears could happen.

My goal is not to avoid suffering and pain anymore.  My goal is to seek God’s will and His greatest glory in my life.  I would prefer not to have pain or suffering!  But if a trial is from the hands of Christ, then I cannot say, “no” to Him!  I look to Him to sustain me.

If Jesus is with me and He is in charge and I know He is using all things for my good because I love Him and am called according to His purpose and I am in the center of His will – there is no better place to be.  He will give me peace, strength, joy, courage and power in the midst of the storm or in the midst of the inconvenience , sickness, tragedy, grief, difficulties or suffering.

If God is for us, who can be against us?…

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness

or danger or sword?…

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

For I am convinced that neither angels nor demons,

neither the present nor the future,

nor any powers,

neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation

will be able to separate us from the love of God,

that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:31, 35-39