Now that we have talked about transformation, let's talk about the things that we view as "unexpected." How does God see these interruptions to our life, these “unexpected” disruptions to our nice plans? How do they look from His end of His telescope? How does He want us to see them?
First of all, from God’s point of view, these events are not unexpected. He’s known about them since before our life-line began. As David says in Psalm 129:16,
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.
Secondly, they are not interruptions, disruptions, or whatever. Moreover, they are not even chance occurrences or happenstances. The reason they aren’t is that God truly is sovereign and in control of every detail of our lives. We say we believe this, but then live as if we don’t. If we really believed it, we would not think about unexpected events as interruptions or chance occurrences.
Thirdly, everything that happens is part of God’s good plan for us. His plan is a plan for our good, to get us to see and live life from His perspective.
“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-14
So each of these events or circumstances is for a good purpose. It is for the purpose of giving us an opportunity to grow spiritually, an opportunity to be transformed. Think about this as you review these passages:
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 (or mature), lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3-5
We generally refer to these verses only when we or some friends are going through a very difficult or drawn-out situation. Then we quote one or another of these passages to give us a little “bucking up,” some spiritual fortitude to get through it. But what if we saw in these verses God’s way of viewing the whole of life?!
How often do we look at our everyday annoyances, interruptions, and surprises with the mindset of these verses? How often don’t we miss altogether what God is trying to do through them?
In their book The Passionate Church, Mike Breen & Walt Kallestad call these interruptions “kairos moments.” Kairos is one of the two Greek words the New Testament uses to refer to “time.” The other more familiar word is chronos, from which we get such words as chronometer, which is another word for clock or watch, especially one of great accuracy. Chronos has to do with measuring time, giving the day and hour of an event or measuring its duration. It looks at time in a quantitative sense.
Kairos, on the other hand, looks at time in a qualitative sense. Kairos “weighs” time; it looks at what is going on in the event, i.e., the attributes or significance of that particular moment or period of time. Kairos is the Greek word used in the following passages for example:
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:6
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time. 1 Peter 5:6
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. Galatians 6:10
Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Colossians 4:5
Notice that in the last two verses kairos is also translated “opportunity.” An opportunity is a time when something significant can occur. Keep this in mind as we talk about God's process of transformation through the "unexpected" events in life.