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Trusting God in Unexpected Events: A Christmas message from our chaplain

Thursday, December 22, 2016

By Reverend Vona Wilson, YMCA Chaplain

“I’ve got this” are words that all of us want to be able to say—to our boss, kids, spouses, and best friends. “Don’t worry. I’ve got us covered.”

But life is full of events that you don’t plan for and can’t see coming. It’s easier when you have time to prepare for what’s ahead. But when a major event goes undetected by your radar, is not in your plans, and catches you totally off guard…well, that is different!

We can’t always say: “I’ve got this.”

An unexpected child

The unexpected—both good and bad—has a way of literally taking our breath away. We may laugh so hard that we’re gasping for air or cry so deeply that we can barely breathe. Pregnancy is an example of an unexpected event that can have both effects on people.

When you have been praying, waiting and preparing to become the parent(s) of a child, news of pregnancy may bring overwhelming joy! But what if you are not expecting it, not ready, or not in the best situation to suddenly be responsible for a baby? That news may be full of fear, anxiety and even anger. And occasionally the whole pregnancy experience is skipped altogether and you find yourself, not with an infant, but with a walking, talking, crying, laughing, snotty-nosed, energy-filled child! Regardless, taking responsibility for a little one is definitely not an “I’ve got this” moment, whether you are full of joy or fear…or a little of both.

God’s got this

As much as we may love the story of Jesus’ birth, the reality behind it includes a messy social situation of an unplanned pregnancy and a teenager caught off guard by the will of God. No doubt Mary, the mother of Jesus, would have been comforted by the words of the angel Gabriel, “Do not be afraid, for you have found favor with God.” In other words, “God’s got this.”

However, Mary’s situation was still completely unexpected and terrifying. What would her husband-to-be say? Her family? The town? In the midst of so many unknowns, Mary chose to trust God. And we all know how her story turned out: that unexpected baby boy became the Savior of the world. Sometimes the moments we least have it together, are the moments God is doing more than we could ever imagine.

Has something unexpected happened with you lately? I encourage you to trust God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will in your situation. You don’t have to see how it will all play out or muster up the strength to say, “I’ve got this.” Just look to Him. He is faithful.

Words from the Prophet Isaiah

“So—who is like me?
Who holds a candle to me?” says The Holy.
Look at the night skies:
Who do you think made all this?
Who marches this army of stars out each night,
counts them off, calls each by name
—so magnificent! so powerful!—
and never overlooks a single one?
(Isaiah 40:25-26, The Message)

Let’s pray together

Lord, thank you for taking care of us in all of the unexpected events that catch us off guard. When we see the stars in the sky we will remember your faithfulness. When it feels like the weight of the world is on our shoulders, we will remember that you hold us in your hand and are willing to carry our burdens when we ask. Help us to trust you completely. We love you. Amen.

Learn more about the Y's Spirit and Mind Ministries

At the YMCA, we know that growing in spirit, mind and body is the surest path to holistic wellbeing. Our library of Spirit and Mind workshops, seminars and small group classes is designed to support growth in physical, emotional, spiritual and financial health.

In her role as Chaplain at the YMCA of Middle Tennessee, Vona Wilson focuses on assessing the most pressing spirit and mind needs of our members and determining the best way to address those needs in small group settings, to strengthen our ties with local churches and to be a pastoral resource for our staff.

An ordained Elder with the United Methodist Church, Vona has served in various church ministry and leadership development roles. She has a Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt University Divinity School and is working on her doctorate in ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary.

YMCA of Middle Tennessee

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1000 Church St.
Nashville, TN 37203
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