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Life’s surprise circumstances have a way of testing us and showing who we really are.

Sometimes it’s like carrying a bucket that you filled. You can tell people what’s in the bucket. You can show them what’s in the bucket. You can lie about the contents and not show them. You can put something on top to hide the real contents. But once something comes along to jostle you or you trip on something, the bucket sloshes or outright spills the contents. Now everyone can see if you lied or told the truth. Everyone can see what you put in there, and can see more than just what you showed them. The contents determine whether this is good or bad.

Other times it’s like smelling a flower. You can often smell a flower better when it’s crushed. Sometimes life crushes you, and whether you’re actually pleasant or whether you actually stink comes through.

At times it’s an unexpected fight. Someone just starts something with you, and you respond automatically in the moment. It’s easy to respond when you know what’s coming, but what do you do and say when you’re taken off guard?

We respond better to life’s jarring surprises when we’re close to and follow God. The more we spend time with God, the more like Him we become. So better contents will be in our buckets, we will smell sweeter, and we will react more calmly.