All last week our local weather forecasters told us to prepare for a major winter storm that was expected to hit the deep south. We were told that even in central Alabama we could get 4-8 inches of snow. Now the last time I remember getting a snow like that was in 1993. That truly was a big snow event for Alabama. This winter storm was to be somewhat similar to that one. We went nuts! The grocery stores were packed with people stocking up on food. My husband even spent an entire afternoon building a 3-person sled.
We were prepared for the snow event of the decade!
We went to bed with visions of snow-covered roofs and lawns swirling in our heads. We couldn't wait to get to sleep so we could try out the sled the next morning. We were prepared to spend an entire day playing in the snow.
What we woke up to find was not what we prepared for. We woke up to find a little ice on our steps and decks. That's it. No snow. Not even enough ice to try out the sled. Bummer. Now this is something all Alabamians should be used to. We know that our weather forecasters are dramatic. We know they prepare us for the worst-case scenario. And it rarely, if ever, happens. So I'm not really sure why we were all disappointed when we woke up to find something other than what we prepared for.
"Where's our snow?"
How many times do we prepare for life to go one way, then it doesn't turn out like we planned? We prepare to have the perfect marriage only to have it shattered by disappointments and failures. We prepare to have the perfect child only to have one born with disabilities. We prepare for our financial futures only to have them destroyed when the market dives south. We prepare to maintain life-long friendships only to have them ruined by silly arguments. We prepare.
And life doesn't turn out like we planned.
We're disappointed. We don't rebound easily. We sit in our disappointment and misery, and wallow.
God says He knows the plans He has for us. He doesn't say He's always going to let us in on those plans. His ways are higher than our ways. He allows disappointments, disasters and devastation in our lives for a reason. We don't always learn what those reasons are, but He has a hope and a future planned for us. And when we trust Him in this, we learn to ask, "What next, God?" We learn to look for His hand in our disappointments. We learn to see which way He's pointing us after a disaster. We learn to wait for His good when we've experienced devastation.
Photo by Molly Bridges Photography