Trouble. Trouble. Trouble.

Take good counsel and accept correction—that’s the way to live wisely and well. Proverbs 19:20 The Message

The water turned kale green. There was no easy fix. The Olympic officials were hesitant to completely change out the water. So, they waited it out. But, Saturday night they acquiesced. Olympic officials drained, cleaned and refilled the pool Saturday night. I included an on-line article with more details here.* There was no danger to athletes but plenty of embarrassment for the Rio Olympic officials. Champions plan for trouble.

Be prepared. 

Since 1907, The Boy Scouts of America have used that motto for their inspiration and training. Military, aviation, EMS, Education and business fields spend millions of dollars on training for trouble. Consider all the time and money we currently spend on preparedness training through Homeland Security. We invest resources, time and creative efforts toward being prepared for trouble. But, all the training in the world doesn’t mean a thing until the preparedness meets the opportunity to be truly tested.

Consider God may be at work in the circumstances.

Sometimes the Holy Spirit is working to protect us but we don’t realize it until later. There have been times when I left my house late because I couldn’t find my keys or I meandered aimlessly around my house because I just couldn’t get going. Frustrated, I then rush to get to my purposed destination only to discover along the way that I could’ve been involved in a car accident and missed the collision by minutes. Sometimes we need to stop and let go of the steering wheel for a brief moment to say a prayer that goes something like this: 

Lord, if my delay this morning is because you are at work helping me to avoid a wreck, please continue your work protecting us. 

I will take a breath, humbly praise you for your work, adjust my attitude and slow down.

Please protect me, my family and others as we move about our day. Amen.

Be humble. Improvise.

I wish I could tell you why circumstances unfold the way they do, but the answer to ‘why' is almost always above my pay grade. I don’t understand why God works in the ways he does. But, Godly wisdom can eventually illuminate our clouded judgments with answers that are often profound and God-honoring. That’s why I encourage you to remain focused and be humble during frustrating ‘training exercises.’ We are all work in progress. That’s the truth about the Christian life. There are some days when everything makes sense. We can claim Jesus as Lord and we feel enthusiastically connected, deeply devoted and absolutely generous! Then, there are days when we question the very existence of the loving God who protected us yesterday. 

It’s normal to ride the rollercoaster of faith. Consider how you practice your Christian faith as training for when challenges come your way. Thank God for the small group you’re part of that comes alongside you during a challenging time recovering from surgery. Praise God for the scripture verse that seems to ‘pop into your mind’ just when you need it. Honor God for providing just the right amount of money to give your tithe and pay your bills this month. Thank God for the opportunity to develop new relationships as you serve the poor, the widow or the orphan because it is the mandate from Christ for the Christian life. All of that investment pays off for the Christ follower because God is at work.

This weekend we will discover how the Holy Spirit intervened as he redirected Paul and his companions on their way to share the Gospel. A vision of a man came to Paul during the night. The second mission trip of Paul was rerouted. The circumstances are not as important as the outcome for the Christ followers in Macedonia. Consider the outcomes the next time you’re rerouted. See you Sunday.

 ...for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13 ES