This past August we went on a cruise on the Danube river, led by Pastor Alistair Begg.
We saw many wonderful sights in Germany, Austria, and Hungary but were faced with a major issue: due to drought in central Europe, the river was too shallow. Because of this, our Viking cruise ship was in danger of running aground.
At two different locations, one in Germany and one in Austria, the water was so shallow that we had to leave the boat, take a bus bypass around the shallow area, and then embark on a different, almost identical ship downstream. It was a Bizarro world experience — we got the same stateroom number and room type, but tiny details might be different—for example, the bathroom sink might be black instead of white, or the electrical sockets might be different.
We did finally get to where we were supposed to go —Budapest — but definitely not by the route that had been planned.
Doesn’t something similar happen in our Christian lives ? We embark on our plans and get detoured. Sometimes our lives seem like a bizarre, inexplicable variant of what we originally expected.
When such detours occur, do things “just happen” to go the wrong way ? Are the bypasses in our life some kind of chance or accident ? No, God is sovereign over each of those twists and turns.
But, does God’s lordship mean we are responsible for nothing ? Not at all. When a detour happens that seems out of our control, at least we are responsible for our attitude. When the spit hits the fan, we can choose whether to dwell in contentment or to whine. On our river trip, we had an example of that choice : did all the extra packing and unpacking lead to grumbling ?
Anyone who depends on the Danube’s water level faces conditions which are always fluctuating. But Jesus never changes.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
What Jesus supplies does not waver or vary and is totally dependable.
Yes, we can rely on him. What a wonderful lifesaving truth to cling to during the unexpected detours in our lives!