Have you ever felt like God was pulling an April Fools’ joke on you? Like He’s just trying to mess with your plans? You’re not alone. And that’s no joke.
My husband is a campus pastor at Life.Church, but that wasn’t our original plan. Seven years ago, we felt God compelling us to sell a thriving business, step into the unknown—and wait. Wait for His divine direction. Wait for His timing. Wait for a path we could not yet see. And even though we were (fairly) certain He’d nudged us in the right direction, I remember sitting in the awkward space found between obedience and answers, wondering, “Did we hear you right, God? Or is this some kind of joke?”
Maybe you’re going through something similar today. You had plans, but those plans have changed. You thought God was doing one thing, but now you just don’t know. Let me assure you—you’re not alone. The Bible is full of messy stories that, on the surface, seem to rival even the most extreme of April Fools’ jokes.
- God told Noah to build a gigantic boat that would save His family from a coming flood. But months went by. Years passed. They spent decades working and waiting. Noah and His family were likely the greatest laughingstocks of the ancient world.
- Abraham and Sarah were old and childless, but God promised they would be the parents of many nations. He said the entire world would be blessed through their descendants. Sarah even laughed in disbelief (Genesis 18:10-15), like God must’ve been messing with them.
- Moses led God’s people out of slavery in a supernatural exodus. But they kept sinning, refusing to listen, and even wanted to return to their comfortable misery (Exodus 16:3). As a result, they wandered around the wilderness for 40 years (Deuteronomy 29:5)—instead of heading straight into the Promised Land.
- God hand-picked Paul to bring His salvation message to the ends of the earth. But he was persecuted, shipwrecked, and bitten by a poisonous snake (Acts 28:3) en route to spread the good news. While confined to a prison cell, day after day and week after week, He must’ve wondered, “Is this a joke?” (2 Corinthians 11:25-27)
- Jesus’ followers believed He was the long-awaited Messiah and that He had come to save the world. But then, after seeing all the miracles, listening to His brilliant teachings, and witnessing His relentless love, He died. Several of them watched (John 19:25-27) as He breathed His last breath while hanging on the cross.
God did save the world through Noah’s family. God did bless the nations through Abraham and Sarah’s kids. God did send Moses to lead His people to the Promised Land—although they had to learn some hard lessons along the way. And Paul’s words didn’t vanish in a prison cell. In fact, he wrote a majority of the New Testament of the Bible. God did allow His Son to experience death, but it was so that we could have life.
God often has surprises up His sleeves, but it’s not to make fools out of us. He’s always working, always moving, and always weaving His purposes through all our days. Not just April 1st.
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9