I Didn’t Sign Up For This

by Sep 4, 2020Article

I Didn’t Sign Up For This

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

When we moved to Carroll County almost six years ago, we loved the idea of having a few acres of land that would welcome wildlife. Over the years, we’ve seen foxes, rabbits, deer, wild turkeys, chipmunks, countless songbirds and more. I love sitting out on our screen porch and listening to the sounds of nature all around.

But this year brought a new animal family to our land. In the spring, a pair of turkey vultures built a nest near our shed. All summer long, we’ve seen them come and go, momentarily blotting out the sun as they swoop over the house with their massive wingspan, making a racket as they clumsily land on the tin roof of our sheep barn, and sitting on our fence posts like creepy villains from a Disney movie. Everything was fine, however, until a few weeks ago when their babies made an appearance. Practically full grown, the hatchlings emerged from their nest one by one in Hitchcockian fashion until there were now five vultures dramatically perched in our pasture. Not quite the idyllic portrait of nature that I was hoping for!

I can add our vulture family to a very long list of things in 2020 that I didn’t sign up for. I’m sure you feel the same way. But I’m in good company. When I flip through my Bible, I read the stories of many characters for whom life took an unexpected and unwelcome turn. Joseph. Abigail. Gideon. Tamar. Jonah. Esther. Jesus even assures His disciples, and us, that we will have hard things as part of life on this earth.

But He also encourages us to take heart, or take courage, because He has overcome. And He promises us peace. I can take courage as my family continues to adapt to our current reality, knowing our future is ultimately in God’s hands. I can find peace in knowing I am not alone – that many, many people have walked a similar path, clinging to God as they navigated difficult and frightening circumstances.

Jesus, we need courage today. Fill us with Your strength and hope. We are longing for peace in the midst of so much chaos and uncertainty. Help us to take heart and keep our eyes fixed on You and Your truth.

PS: As far as the vultures (along with the myriad of other things I didn’t ask for this year), a dear friend challenged me to look for the good that they could bring. Did you know that vultures play a critical role in controlling the spread of disease? Coincidentally, tomorrow (the first Saturday of September) is International Vulture Awareness Day. Take a moment today to express appreciation for something you didn’t sign up for but that is part of your life right now.

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