We have all experienced when something unexpected happens.
It could be something good, like a surprise visit from a dear friend or relative.
It could be winning big money in a contest.
It could be landing that super job that you thought you had no chance to get.
There are also times when something bad happens.
It could be a devastating accident, or tornado.
It could be the death of a close relative from a heart attack.
You could lose your job, or find out you owe a huge amount on back taxes.
Whatever happens unexpectedly, how do we typically react?
1 — Many people would scream and cry first. For most people our emotions jump in first, before clear thinking.
2 — After a quick text or phone call to your spouse or significant other, agreeing to talk more later. That long talk with our spouse or significant other is very important to our decision.
3 — Next, many people want to tell their friends and relatives. Our phones will be busy for hours sharing the news, and asking some of these people for advice what to do.
So where do many of us go for real advice, the kind we will likely use to make our decisions?
4 — For many unexpected events, we are left clueless about what is the best thing to do, so we contact a professional. Depending on what happened, we would talk to a lawyer or doctor or financial advisor.
5 — And it should be no surprise, that surveys show many of us still go to Mom for advice! Mom remains a big influence in difficult decisions, even more than Dad.
6 — So who do we often leave out? Our best advisor, who cares the most about us, is usually not thought of until after all the others are contacted. Our best advisor, and where we should go for advice first, is God.
I bet you knew that. Right? But most of us don’t go to God first. I know that I didn’t. When I first found out that I had cancer, I went to my husband first, then we went to a doctor specializing in the type of cancer I had. When everything was confirmed, and we had advice from the doctor, then I told my family (parents, children, aunts and uncles) and friends. Then yes, I went to God, and my church, and put myself on as many prayer lists as I could.
After more than a year of battling cancer, I was reading the Bible, and was struck by a verse that I had never used before, James 5:14. “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.”
I read it again. I knew that God was bringing this Scripture to my attention. I then did what I should have done sooner, I called the elders and set up a time for them to pray over me and anoint me with oil. This proved to be a turning point in my battle with cancer, although the battle continued for several more years, and I had the elders pray over me a second time, and had everyone I knew praying for me, when finally God healed me of cancer. I have been cancer-free for five years now. (If you want to read more about my cancer experience, click here.)
The important point here, is that God should be our first consultation.
Why? Before you tell anyone else what happened, God already knows! In fact, God already knows what your future holds. He certainly can give you the best advice!
So how do we do that? How do we go to God first? We always think of the important people in our life first, our spouse, our mom, our good friends, our children (especially if they are over 21); however, God is the best advisor we have, and God loves us more than anyone, and He knows everything about us.
This is what I do now—
I learned an important lesson when battling cancer. Now, I go to God first every morning. It is as simple as that. Since I pray with God every morning, that gives me the opportunity to ask Him for help, for guidance, for answers. When I don’t have any big, important questions, I still pray with God every morning over a list of friends and relatives and church ministers, and all the families of these people too. Although it is simple, it does take discipline to pray first every morning. I pray before I eat breakfast, because otherwise I have found that I get busy and distracted and either don’t remember to pray, or just can’t find the time. For some people, it might work better to pray before you go to bed at night.
What is important is that you make it a rule, so it becomes a habit – pray before you eat breakfast every day, ( or before you go to bed every night). Choose what works for you, and stick to it. Every day! That is the best way I have found to make sure that you go to God first when the unexpected happens.