To quote the great prophet, Mike Tyson, “Everyone has a plan ‘til they get punched in the mouth.” Isn’t that true? The best laid plans and well devised strategies go straight out the window when you get punched in the mouth.
It causes us to question everything, completely re-think our movements, re-focus our efforts and reassess our situation. From boxing to MMA, I could name some heavy hitters. To avoid the debate, I won’t. Besides, there is no heavier hitter than life itself.
We like to play by rules, and rules are important. Life, on the other hand, doesn’t care about rules. Life will sneak up on you and attack before you even know you’re in a fight. We like safety and manageability; things we can handle. Life will shove you onto a tightrope stretched between two skyscrapers and no safety net or tether if you fall. No matter what kind of retirement plan, investments or education we have; no matter the specific calculations, preparation or contingencies we have made … we cannot control life.
Now to quote the great psalmist, David Lee Roth, “You’ve got to roll with the punches and get to what’s real.” Now, did he really know what he was saying or was it just something that rhymed with ‘feel?’? You have a couple of choices. You can either quit whatever it is that you’re doing or roll with the punches. Quitting doesn’t mean that life will stop hitting, it just guarantees failure. We have to roll with the punches.
I’m talking about obedience to God here. When we’re being obedient to God, and sometimes, especially WHEN we’re being obedient to God, life decides to throw us a one-two combination. Our obedience does NOT guarantee safety. Our obedience does NOT guarantee there won’t be struggle. Our obedience simply means whatever the risk or whatever the struggle, it is worth it if it is something God is calling us to.
Punches come in many forms. People can throw “punches” that can alter what we believe God wants us to do. Circumstances like loss, whether it’s a job or a loved one, are punches that are thrown at us. We may be tempted to believe that everything is ruined and will never work and be tempted to quit. We may think, “This is not what I had planned.” One of the things I’ve learned over time is, rarely does being obedient to God play out the way we think it should. Proverbs 16:9 tells us, “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.”
I’ll leave it to you to read God’s Word and rely on His Holy Spirit to show you what OUR purpose is here. One last scripture before I go though. I stared at this scripture for years on my desk as I was walking in obedience to God, and I pray it is a help to you as well. Proverbs 16:3: “Commit your work to the LORD and your plans will be established.”