Joy in the Whirlwind: when plans come undone

My husband delivered the disappointing news with a smile. A smile that communicated gratitude in the midst of uncertainty.

After $600 of work, it’d been determined our suburban was terminal.

A few days prior, our offer on a home in Albany was rejected.

And just as we were about to make an offer on another home, we got news that our home’s buyer’s financing fell through.

So it’s back to square one.

It’s one of those weeks. A week of trials that tempt me and the rest of the family to frustration, disappointment and anger.

Thank you God.

It’s the response my husband and I have been choosing, and helping our kids to choose too.

Thank you God.

It’s the sacrifice He desires.

Thank you God.

It’s the comfort He promises.

Through these temporary set-backs, we’re learning to let thanks be the baseline to the song of our life; gratitude our anchor; joy our undercurrent. We’re thankful for growth and teaching opportunities – to teach our own hearts and our children’s hearts God’s ways. We’re thankful for His joy in the whirlwind.

How is this possible?

I’m asking myself the same question. Had the same circumstance occurred five years ago, I’m doubtful I’d have had the same response.


Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

In the face of trials, James exhorts us to consider it pure joy because we know – we don’t know the blueprint but we know the finished product. We don’t know the middle but we know the end.

This knowing is what brings us through the experience of pain, suffering, frustration, and disappointment with peace, fulfillment, healing, and hope.

Faith is far-sighted. It sets eyes on the end we know is coming.

Faith knows what James knows, that just as charcoal under pressure, and precious metal through fire, a life under trial produces beautiful strength. Or as James calls it, endurance; an endurance that makes us complete in Christ.

What if we realized that without trials we are incomplete? What if we recognized the refining of our souls in the midst of adversity? What if we relied completely on the power of our Savior to redeem our circumstances?

Maybe then joyful eternal thanks would mingle with tears of temporary pain.

Maybe then would we consider it all joy.


Our house is back on the market, the suburban will soon be on craigslist, and we’re keeping our eyes open for new listings.

Through it all we are are choosing thanks. It’s unnatural at times to say things like, “Thank you God for a broken down vehicle,” but as children of God we dwell in the realm of the supernatural. Our kids look at my husband and I like we are crazy when we say these things aloud, but after some prompting, they join in. ‘I’m thankful that having only one working car means we get spend more family time together.’ ‘I’m thankful we still have one car to get around.’

We are … ‘fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ Heb 12:2

We serve One who has already done what He asks us to do and who offers us His own overcoming power to do it.

Thank You God!


I woodburned this frame a couple months ago to remind myself and my family to frame our minds on praise and thanksgiving. A tangible way to practice one of the most most repeated exhortations of God’s Word. It’s a visual cue to set our minds on things above rather than to get bogged down in the details of daily life. It’s a guide as we aim at heaven.

I know all of you are facing your own trials this week too. Internal and external, quickly passing and long lasting. Keep enduring. Keep giving thanks. Keep your joy.

Because you know the end of the story!


2 thoughts on “Joy in the Whirlwind: when plans come undone

  1. Yesyesyes just as I was reminded the other day…by this saying… “what if we received Today Only what we thanked God for Yesterday?”… great great reminder that Gods ways are Always better than our own and He Surley is on our side!!!!:):)

    Liked by 1 person

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