On SI.com there is a headline that says, “The Biggest Unplanned Failures in the NBA This Season,” with “What Teams are Experiencing Unplanned Disappointment?” written below.

After clicking, the article explains “The Biggest Unplanned Disasters in the 2017-18 NBA Season.”

As the midway point of the season gets closer, it’s already clear which NBA teams are heading in the wrong direction – despite their big plans and high expectations for the year.

The Los Angeles Lakers started off with lots of hype and excitement about their young core, but are sitting at the bottom of the standings with a 13-27 record.

The Memphis Grizzlies and LA Clippers have a roster of veteran players with playoff experience, but both teams have underachieved to this point in the year.

In the East, the Charlotte Hornets and Orlando Magic thought they’d take positive steps and compete for a playoff spot, but instead, their seasons have been a debacle of poor play.

Thinking about these NBA teams experiencing “unplanned disappointment,” and being considered as “unplanned failures” and “unplanned disasters,” I realize these same words can resonate in our own lives.

How often do we have a plan in place that gets derailed? How common is it for us to have big expectations that fall short? How many times have we pursued something that ended with us failing?

Unplanned disappointment, failures, and disasters are upsetting in sports, but can be very devastating in our own lives.

There’s no question we need to take wise steps that involve planning and preparation, but the reality is, sometimes the unexpected totally changes what we thought would happen.

It’s not easy to face such difficulties and admit that so much of life is out of our control. However, these unforeseen situations allow us to surrender to God and trust that He will guide us through them.

We can look at our disappointments and failures with the assurance God will give us strength…use it for good…change us on the inside…and prepare us for something else. Ultimately, God shows us how our unplanned disasters fit nicely into His planned blessings.

When we step back and realize that God oversees all, and works through every detail of our lives, we can have tremendous hope and affirmation that He’s with us every step of the way.

The Bible gives us this powerful encouragement in Isaiah 40:28-31 (ESV): Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable.

“He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might He increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I know so much that happens in my life is unplanned and not what I expected, but I trust that through it all You provide strength, hope, and peace. Help me to trust that Your bigger plan is molding and shaping me to be more like Jesus. In His name I pray, Amen.