The year 2014 reminded us of a scene from Star Trek, The Next Generation. In one scene, we find Data, the robotic android listening to his human friend tell him about what his friend perceived to be a disastrous event.
Data listened, but seemed puzzled. Since Data felt no emotion, he was only able to identify and categorize data. When his friend ended his side of the conversation with the summation of “it was awful,” Data thought for a minute. He then said, “Oh, you mean it was unexpected.”
Our year 2014 falls in that category.
A friend was killed when a rock flew through the windshield of his truck and struck him in the head. Unexpected.
A beautiful young lady whose wedding we once witnessed fell hard to postpartum depression. She committed suicide. Unexpected.
The son of a friend was killed in a random act of violence. I remember when my friend was pregnant with him and the tremendous joy he brought her, as he grew to a wonderful young man. Unexpected.
Jay’s father was in good shape when we left for our vacation in May. However, he became ill and died before our return. Very unexpected.
The small bump on Jay’s arm turned out to be basal cell cancer and had to be removed with wide and deep cuts. Unexpected. He is thankfully now cancer free, praise the Lord!
A matter of weeks later, Jay had to have hand surgery on the opposite side from where he had arm surgery (a separate problem, not related). Unexpected. This curtailed many of his planned DIY projects. Since Jay tends to be a “human doing” as opposed to a “human being,” he was not thrilled with this turn of events.
2014 also brought Witnesses to The Lord’s Mercy and Grace!
When they took our friend’s body out of his truck, they also found his open Bible, where he had been reading, as he often did on his lunch break. He was not expecting his day to go the way it did. But he was ready for the next giant step into Life Everlasting.
That beautiful young lady left a beautiful baby with a loving father and loving grandparents, who stepped up together in love. They are a wonderful testimony to God’s Mercy and Grace.
My friend who lost her son has an unwavering faith. Through the darkness of this event, the Light of The Lord has shone so brightly through her, that I believe it has pierced the darkness of those who participated in the violence.
We were blessed to have had much time to spend with Jim, Jay’s Dad. We had the conversations that counted and freely expressed our love for each other. While we will forever wish we had been there to “see him off” to Glory, we are comforted by knowing he had the best care on earth and a guaranteed Heavenly Escort Home.
We were blessed that both medical problems Jay had were taken care of so speedily by competent, caring doctors. And I am blessed by Jay’s amazing resilience in being able to have survived all he did this year and still remain positive and thankful. Not only is he the wonderful man God created him to be, but he is also his father’s legacy. He is a lot like him!
It Is All In How You Look At It!
Let’s go back to our friend, Data, the android from Star Trek. I think there is perhaps a valuable lesson in his exchange with his human friend. The unexpected happens. But what happens next depends in large measure on what emotion we attach to the event.
If we perceive things as disastrous and hopeless, then all our actions will likely follow that path. If we see a few bad things in other people, it becomes easier for everything they do to line up with our negative view of them. If we are able to see them as God does, then we will expect a different, brighter future.
The real question might be:
When the unexpected happens, what do we expect next?
When things happen that are unexpected, I suspect we’d all do better to simply ask God how He sees the situation. Actually He already told us, but He is willing to keep telling us until we get it!
“For I know The Plans I have for you,” declares The Lord,
“Plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
Plans to give you Hope and a Future!”
And we know that in all things God works for the Good
of those who love Him,
who have been called according to His Purpose.
BE SURE OF THIS —
I AM with you always!
Merry Christmas to you, our family, our friends, and our readers of the blog!
Carolyn and Jay Jones
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