What do you think of when you hear the word, “adventure”? Exciting, daring, scary? But how many of us would use those same words to describe our lives? A definition of adventure is “an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous experience…” Some of you can surely think of times in your life where you’ve had those experiences. I know I can.
The good news is God was with me in each and every circumstance. And believe me, some truly were adventures. One truth about God I’ve remembered is something I learned when teaching Sunday school to primary age children. I told them about Jesus feeding the 5,000, found in John 6:1-14. Jesus asked the disciples to gather up the remains. As I shared this, God said to me, “I don’t waste anything.” It’s a truth I’ve always remembered.
God uses all sorts of life experiences to bring us closer to Him and to make our life an adventure worthy of his beloved children. Let’s look at 4 unexpected ways he gives meaning and excitement to our lives.Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Moostocker
The Adventure of Children
One of the adventures in my life was from a gift God grants to some of us. In Psalms 127:3, it declares that children are a gift. They can also send you on the adventure of a lifetime.
I remember leaving the hospital with my first child. I was scared. In the pregnancy, I had developed hypertension which complicated things. It was especially scary for me since my mom died of a stroke when she was only 43. So there I was, a new mom with hypertension and to make it even more interesting, I suffered from postpartum blues.
Yet, God provided someone to help me through the blues. One of my friends, Linda, would call me up every day at my worst time, about 4:00 and she’d let me cry and talk for an hour. I would get off the phone, encouraged and confident about the role of being a mom.
In time, the postpartum blues diminished, but I’ve never forgotten how God helped me through that time. That baby grew up and now has a family of his own and they’ve had five children. Becoming a parent has been one of the greatest adventures I’ve ever had.
It taught me how God is a loving parent himself. It showed me God’s tender heart towards his children. And I knew the love I had for my children was only a tiny bit as much as the love God has for his children.
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The Adventure of Losing a Loved One
I’m sure no one would ever see losing a loved one as an adventure. But it is another facet in our lives that we enter which is sometimes scary, especially when we depended on the loved one who died.
In Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, we are told that death is a natural part of life. There is a time to live and a time to die. All of us at one time or another have stood before a loved one’s coffin. Some of us have lost children, some of us have lost grandchildren. Many have lost spouses. Each loss presented a myriad of challenges.
How would we get on without that person? How would we even get up in the morning knowing our world was changed forever? Grief is certainly a journey none of us want to take, but even in our grief journeys there are things we learn.
Each time I’ve lost a loved one it has been a different experience. And yet, each and every time, God showed me something about his character. I’ve learned how God cares about those whose hearts are broken (Psalms 34:18). God cares when our spirits are crushed. God comforts us (2 Corinthians 1:4). And when God comforts us, it isn’t just so we will be comfortable, but so we will comfort others who are hurting.
The process of grieving was difficult. And it’s different with each loss. And yet, God is big enough to help us in our times of grief. And when our loved ones know the Lord, we are told in Scripture they will go to heaven. So our goodbyes here on earth are only temporary.
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The Adventure of Careers
Starting a new job can be an adventure for sure. Looking back on the jobs I’ve had, I see that I’ve taught children, I’ve worked with people as a cashier, I’ve worked with numbers in a bank. And I’ve had different adventures being a writer. Publishing books, having my poetry in stores. I’m sure each of you have also had many different experiences with the jobs you’ve held.
God teaches us in our jobs, that although we might be making money, but ultimately God is the one who provides. In fact, he provides our very jobs.
Philippians 4:19 reminds us that God supplies all our needs. Sometimes we have to lean on God because our jobs are difficult. As a teacher of little ones, I wanted them to know Jesus. So God would give me the words to say and help me to walk before them so they wanted to know my Savior.
There are people who have had dangerous jobs, such as being police officers. They have to depend on God for their safety. They never know what their day will be like as they don their uniforms and head out the door.
Teachers get to mold young lives, to teach and train little ones who are so vulnerable. And part of the adventure is helping them to understand how big the world is, and how they will fit inside of it.
Part of God’s grace is letting us know him better, and giving us opportunities for others to know him, no matter what occupation we hold. And what could be a better adventure than that?
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The Adventure of Sickness
Some people go through life with disabilities, or a chronic illness. Even doing the simplest of things is a challenge to them, things so many others take for granted. They get up every day and it saps their energy doing even the smallest things. And yet, they push through, and learn how to lean on the All-Powerful One.
Read Proverbs 3:5-6. Those who struggle in life, whether physical or emotional, seen or unseen, learn what it means to lean on God instead of trying to figure things out for themselves. They have to learn to trust that God is able to meet each and every one of their needs, no matter how big or small.
Throughout his ministry, Jesus went around healing others. People would line up hoping they might get a chance to be near him, maybe even to reach out and touch him. Hoping that maybe their lives could be different from the suffering they endured. Those who are ill have had a different adventure. One where they were not sure of the outcome.
And yet, God was their companion along the way. Each day they knew they had someone who would be there. Read Psalm 121:1-8. God would help so their foot would not slip. God who doesn’t slumber nor sleep. God who always listens to their prayers.
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God Is with Us No Matter What
It doesn’t matter what our life journeys have looked like, what we’ve done, where we’ve been. All of us have to depend on the same God. The God who loves us and created us in his image (Genesis 1:27). The God who sacrificed his Son for us as it tells us in John 3:16. God is at work in all of us.
And though our lives may differ, we have had the same loving Father to rely on, each step of the way. And our hope is always that when we take our final breaths that God will say to us what it says in Matthew 25:23, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” And may our attitudes be those of thankfulness for everything God has done no matter what our journey was.
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A Prayer for Us in Life
We come before you asking for wisdom for each day. No matter what our journey is, no matter what we do, let us look to you for strength. Help us to be thankful above all. As we look back on our lives, help us to remember you were always with us. And when things did not go as we had hoped, you are the one who worked them together for good, as it says in Romans 8:28. Lord, I pray we would remember what it says in Job 42:2. That no plan of yours can be thwarted. Everything you have done for us has been out of love. Lord, we thank you, in Jesus’ precious and Holy name. Amen.
Anne Peterson has had a lot of adventures in her walk with God. She is a regular contributor to Crosswalk as well as being a poet, speaker, and published author of 14 books. These books include: Broken: A Story of Abuse, Survival, and Hope, as well as a volume of 3 books, He Whispers: Poetic Talks with God. Sign up for Anne’s newsletter at www.annepeterson.com and click on free Ebooks to choose one. Or connect with Anne on Facebook.
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