Trembling, Dorothy and her friends approached the open doors. Wide eyed they spied a terrifying face surrounded by shooting flames and billowing smoke! Suddenly, a booming voice cried out, “I am OZ. The great and powerful!”1 Does this sound familiar? It’s a scene from the Wizard of Oz.
Dorothy was lost and needed to find her way back to Kansas. Told that the Wizard could help, she had taken the long journey from Munchkin land to find him. In faith, she had followed the yellow brick road, persevering even when she encountered the unexpected.
Watching for “lions, and tigers, and bears, Oh My!”1, she found unexpected friends and foes. Who would expect to find friendships in a scarecrow, tinman and cowardly lion? Who would imagine the trouble caused by flying monkeys and a wicked witch?
The truth about the Wizard was certainly unexpected! Spoiler alert! Dorothy’s dog, Toto, exposed the Wizard as simply a man hiding behind special effects.
But in the end, it didn’t matter who the Wizard was.
Because it was the journey that was important.
Along the journey, as Dorothy faced the unexpected, she learned to face her fears. She learned to stand up for herself and others. She learned the importance of friendships.
In the end, Dorothy found she had the power to solve her problem all along.
She just had to take a journey of the unexpected to discover it.
HOW ABOUT OUR JOURNEY?
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT?
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
Traveling through life is a journey where the unexpected will test our faith. But along the way, we can also discover the greatness and power of God.
HOW WILL OUR FAITH BE TESTED?
CHOOSING OUR PATH?
When we encounter the unexpected on our journey, it can cause us to ask, “Am I on the right path?”
Dorothy had a clear path. How could she miss following a yellow brick road? But the yellow brick road was man-made, (or Munchkin made).
Although God’s path may not appear as a yellow brick road, His path is well lit by His Word.
Following God and His word keeps us on His path.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path, Psalm 119:105.
Like the yellow brick road, God’s path will not always be easy. But the path made by God will bring results that will satisfy and fill our heart.
The unexpected can be scary. When fear strikes, we can face it with God or run and hide. But hiding doesn’t make it disappear.
Journeying through a dark, creepy forest fearfully watching for “lions, and tigers and bears, Oh My!”1, Dorothy encountered a lion! Initially she hid in fear, but when she faced her fears, things changed. The lion’s confidence crumbled and he became a friend.
Who could ever imagine that running into a lion in the wild would be good? But on our journey, God can use all things for good, even the unexpected lion in our life, Romans 8:28.
No matter what fears we face on our journey,
with God, we can face it with the faith that He will help us.
For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you,’ Isaiah 41:13
When things don’t happen in the time or way we expect, we can get discouraged.
Who would expect to run into a tinman with no heart, when they were discouraged? But Dorothy did. Then on her journey, the tinman encouraged her with a heart he didn’t realize he had.
So too, can God put the right person in our path just when we need them.
Being with people who will point us to God and encourage our faith
can help us stay on God’s path.
People, even unexpected ones, are one way God shows His love for us, encourages us and draws us to Himself.
You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, Psalm 10:17 NIV
Don’t we all need wisdom along our journey, especially when we meet the unexpected?
The scarecrow thought he was brainless, yet he gave Dorothy wise advice. Sometimes the situations we face make us feel brainless as we search for answers.
Our caring heavenly Father has wisdom beyond our imagination.
God can give us the wisdom we need for any situation.
All we have to do is ask.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him, James 1:5
Dorothy and her motley crew put their faith in the Wizard. Only to have it shaken when they discovered the unexpected – that he was just a man.
But our God is certainly more powerful than a mere man. If our faith in God is shaken, we can bolster it by reading His word and remembering the things He has done for us.
When we diligently seek God in faith,
we will see that He has all the solutions we need.
That your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God, 1 Corinthians 2:5
Our God is the only great and powerful!
we have more power available to us than we can ever imagine.
Sometimes it takes the journey of the unexpected
for us to discover what has been there
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that works in us, Ephesians 3:20
On your journey, has your faith been tested with the unexpected? What does God want you to learn?
Heavenly Father, as I write Ephesians 3:20 and say it aloud, remind me of all You have done. As I encounter the unexpected, help me to look to You. In Jesus name. Amen.
OUR FAITH GROWS THROUGH THE JOURNEY
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1 Wizard of Oz
Photo yellow brick road, Akshay Nanavati
Photo lizard, Alan Lese
Photo girls, Ben White