March 28, 2017

When You’re Thrust Into a Role You Don’t Want

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 28, 2017

By Shana Schutte

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

There are times in life when we don’t get to choose the roles we play. Maybe you’re thrust into a role that you wouldn’t have chosen for yourself—and you’re not happy about it. A woman you don’t respect just got promoted. Now, she’s your manager. You discover that your father, who passed away years ago, had a child you didn’t know about. Now, you’re a sister. Your family members aren’t getting along. Now, you’re the go-between. Your spouse just received news that he has cancer.  Now, you’re a grieving caretaker. There are times in all of our lives when we are forced into difficult roles we would have never chosen for ourselves.

When this happens, a natural first result is to wonder how we can get out of it. “How do I make this big mess disappear?” Even though it’s natural to respond in this way, a better response is to ask, “What redemptive role does God want me to play in this story?”

Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go” (Isaiah 48:17).

When we acknowledge that God is the Author of our stories, we are able to see that He has a plan for our lives. And, we also see that He may want to use us in a way we had never even imagined. . .in a way that will bring Him glory.   

Of course, God doesn’t call us to stay in every role. But during those times when He does, and in those roles where there is no way out, God wants to do something good, because He is always doing something good—and He may want to use us to play an important role in His good plan. Our job is to cooperate with Him and not bring evil into His story by cooperating with the devil.

Many years ago, my mom discovered she had a sister she didn’t know about. My grandfather, who had passed away years before, had a relationship before my mom was born. Eventually the woman contacted my mom to reveal her identity. And just like that, Mom was thrown into an unexpected role as a sister. Was she uncomfortable? Yes. Did she have many unanswered questions? Yes. But she chose to respond in a redemptive way. Now, she is good friends with her new sister and Mom’s response of love has glorified God. Even in the midst of sin, God is always at work to bring about His redemption.

Have you been thrown into an unpleasant role that you would not have chosen for yourself? You are not in that role by accident. Perhaps you are called to be a light in a less-than-desirable situation. Ask yourself how God wants you to respond.

“For I Am Sure That Neither Death Nor Life, Nor Angels Nor Rulers, Nor Things Present Nor Things To Come, Nor Powers, Nor Height Nor Depth, Nor Anything Else In All Creation, Will Be Able To Separate Us From The Love Of God In Christ Jesus Our Lord”  (Romans 8:38-39).



Heavenly Father, I may feel ill equipped for my current role, but I trust You to equip me and empower me to serve as unto the Lord, in Jesus' name, amen.


If you are in a role that you would not have chosen for yourself, ask God how He wants you to respond.

Related Reading

Psalm 32:8; Job 36:22; Psalm 73:24

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  1. Barb says:

    You mentioned that God doesn’t call us to stay in every role but it seems that is the case for me. When people refer to “seasons” it sets my teeth on edge! My season is a very long season of an unwanted forecast. But…because of the inclement conditions I call out to God more than I would if the weather was more to my liking. I recently realized He has received more praise, glory and honor through my pain than He ever would have in my pleasure. I would have taken Him for granted and missed the many gifts of His presence. Oh, I still wish…no, I PRAY He would change my circumstances. But I will continue to toil and strive, because I have my hope set on the living God (1Tim 4:10) and not on the gifts or circumstances.

  2. Gwynne says:

    Dear Barb,
    Thank you for your response to Shana’s devotional, “When You’re Thrust Into a Role You Don’t Want”. Your words were so powerful. I read your comments a few times and I was so touched by your strong example of Trusting Him, Loving Him, and Believing in Him in the midst of your trials. When you stated “I recently realized He has received more praise, glory and honor through my pain than He ever would in my pleasure” I was struck with the fact that there are probably so many more than you don’t even know about that are soaking up your faithfulness to your Heavenly Father!
    Thank you for shining His Light during this challenging time. You are a blessing!!
    Grateful for you~
    “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

  3. Mich. says:

    Barb, I’m extremely sorry to hear about ur suffering. We ask Jesus to give u His light load in exchange for ur heavy one. I am sorry for ur lose, may Jesus fulfil ur needs and bring u the desires of ur heart.

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