When there is a plan, there are problems.

I had extra responsibilities to take care of before Valerie, and I left for vacation. The pressure is on – get what needs to be done before we leave. Delegating ministry duties, writing reports, and crucial conversations had to be taken care of before we started packing. Who doesn’t want the peace of mind to embrace a stress-free vacation to the fullest? 

While I am working towards accomplishing the plan, I get a text from Valerie. “Honey, can you put air in the tire? The display light is on.” My first thought immediately focuses on myself – “Doesn’t she see how busy I am? Why doesn’t she put the air in the tire herself?” Yet, I restrain these self-serving thoughts and begrudgingly go back home to take care of this issue. Mind you – I only had a little bit of time in my schedule, so I am feeling the squeeze. 

Valerie accompanies me to the nearest gas station. My sour attitude leaks out a complaint or two, restating how disruptive this was to my schedule. On the flip side, it doesn’t take long to put air in a tire; the gas station is down the street. 

Or so I thought. 

Unbeknownst to me, the device for the air was on but was not putting air in the tire the whole time. We go to the next gas station – a broken machine. The next – broken as well! By the time we were on our way to the 5th gas station, I was highly frustrated – at the gas stations, Valerie, the flattened tire – all because it was an inconvenience to me and my schedule. 

That is when the Holy Spirit spoke to me and checked my attitude. 

“Are you going to let this setback ruin your whole day?” 

I paused. It took me a while to see it, but the Lord is right. Why should I allow this inconvenience to take away my peace? Do I want to let this circumstance dictate my attitude for the rest of the day? 

As I pulled up to the fifth gas station, I realized that this was not an inconvenience in my schedule but an invitation from the Holy Spirit. How often I can become absorbed in the problem that my attitude suffers, affecting the rest of my day. Instead, God is asking me to trust Him when disruptions arise. He is at work when there are sudden changes, but He is not surprised by it! When there is chaos around me, I can be at peace because of the One who resides inside me. 

“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” – Psalm 94:19

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7 

After realigning my attitude, God gave me peace. It just so happened that after I checked my attitude, the machine at this gas station happened to work. Praise God! The frustration, complaining, and bad attitude was meaningless as it did not help me solve the problem. Instead, it made things worse. The Lord showed me that my eyes need to be fixed on Him, not on the unforeseen circumstances. Once I shifted my focus back to Christ, I could continue my day with joy and gratitude. 

I share this story with you because I realize your day doesn’t always go according to plan. There are unintended problems that can be an inconvenience and an irritation. It’s easy to let the emotions bubble up, capture your thoughts, and cloud your judgment. Yet inconvenient moments are opportune times for the Holy Spirit to use you. The Lord wants to bring peace when frustration rears its ugly head, modeling the fruits of the Spirit the rest of your day. He wants you to trust Him in those moments of anxiety, being filled with the notion that “everything is going to be okay.” Instead of reacting emotionally, He invites you to respond differently – with your eyes set on Jesus. There are no surprises for God; He knows what is going to happen. Therefore, you can come to Christ to give you what you need at that moment, even when your day doesn’t go as expected. 

I have a feeling that the unexpected will always be there to change the course of our day – whether we like it or not! Rather than attempting to control all the circumstances, we can choose to listen to the Holy Spirit’s activity in our lives, to calm us, guide us, and give us peace. May you see His invitation when the moments of inconvenience take place, all for what God wants to do in you and through you.

Have a blessed week! 


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