Sometimes you expect things to happen, and they don’t.
I have a morning routine when I get into the office. I am often one of the first people to arrive in the morning (having two high school students leave early will do that to you!) and so I will make the first (of several) pots of coffee.
The pattern goes like this:
- I go into the kitchenette and first put the water pitcher under the spigot and begin to fill it.
- I turn the burner on the coffee maker on so it will be warm when the coffee pot fills
- I put the filter in the basket and put 3 (count ’em 3!) scoops of grounds into the filter
- I turn off the spigot and pour the water into the coffee maker’s reservoir
- I know then, that I have approximately 5-7 seconds to reach behind me, take one of the empty coffee pots off of its rack and place it under the basket before the coffee begins pouring
This is my routine. I know it well. It’s on auto-pilot. I do it almost every day. And every day it works.
That is, right up until you turn around to grab the coffee pot and you realize that there are no coffee pots there. Some helpful soul has moved them over into the main kitchen to the big dishwasher there.
Then you panic.
I look back at the coffee maker and my mind begins to count. 2…3…4…5…and the coffee begins to pour. All over the burner. All over the counter. Dripping down to the floor.
There is a moment of “frozen,” before your mind and body go into frantic action, searching for a solution. The coffee pot cannot be turned off. The coffee will pour until it’s all out.
Stacks of napkins, a couple of washcloths, a mop and a water pitcher now full of coffee later, the crisis is resolved. But unfortunately, at least that batch of coffee has gone to waste.
Sometimes this is life. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Sometimes our routines are disrupted.
In the scheme of things, some spilled coffee really is not a big deal. It took me 10 minutes to fix it. But these kinds of problems “scale up” as well. We can all experience things not going as planned:
- Bad weather can mess up a vacation
- A traffic accident can total a car
- A bad decision about how time is spent can take down a grade
- A diagnosis can cause anxiety, treatments, and worse
And our first reaction is often to panic. And then, we become frustrated (understandable) and sometimes we look to blame. We focus on the cause and the effects, because coming up with resolution, at least with the bigger issues in life, can seem daunting.
Psalm 9:9-10 reminds us that:
“The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.”
God does not promise a life free from troubles. As a matter of fact, Jesus reminds us that sometimes because of our faith, life can be more difficult.
But the Psalmist reminds that God is a stronghold in times of trouble. The word stronghold means “a place that has been fortified to protect those within.” We are reminded that even (especially) in times of trouble, God is with us. We are never alone.
In the best of times…in the worst of times…you are never alone. We are never forsaken. God is with you.
Thanks be to God!