Life has a way of challenging us. It tasks us to grow, develop character, and allow things to happen in order to make us into better people. If we choose not to accept this opportunity, we can become bitter, angry, and resentful.
Simply put, things happen to everyone. Cars break down. Jobs are lost. Homes sell or need major repairs. Kids and adults get sick, need glasses or braces, or require surgery. Natural disasters destroy possessions and sometimes take lives. What you do when this happens to you determines how your life will develop. You can look for ways to make good from bad, or you can let it eat you alive.
I’ve seen what happens when someone decides that everything bad happening to them is a personal attack. This person became almost intolerable to deal with as they ranted against nature, against previous spouses and grown children, and blamed God for things that were occurring all around them every day all over the world to thousands if not millions of other people. They allowed circumstances to dictate how they lived instead of responding to those happenings by making the best of it and seeking to glean positive from negative.
I’m sitting at the car dealership as I’m typing this up. I brought my car back to Florida to sell it and pick up a van so I can fulfill a dream….I want to travel the country on my own terms, living on my own, taking my time and not being tied down to any possessions beyond what I need to survive. The car had other plans. The mass air flow sensor is shot, and I can’t take it to the dealer I’m selling it to while I know something is wrong with it. Now hopefully the significant cost is covered by warranty, but if not, I’ll pony up the funds to pay. This is part of living as a Christian with integrity and honesty; I can’t just pass off something defective as if it’s perfectly good. If it costs me several hundred dollars, so be it. It’s only money. Was this in my plan? Heck no…..by this time today I was supposed to be loading the stuff from my storage unit into the back of the van with my grandson so we could leave tonight and head back to Missouri. Instead, we’re sitting here waiting for an unexpected repair. There’s a reason for it – there always is. Maybe there’s an accident on the road and we missed it because we were here. Perhaps this is God’s way of making me sit still for a purpose I won’t discover until I see Him face to face. It’s not my job to try and figure all this stuff out….what is my responsibility is doing the best I can with what I’ve been given, and not letting this like this get me all stressed out and angry.
I need to ask myself at the end of every day if I’ve lived it to the glory of God to the best of my ability. That doesn’t mean I’m perfect; in fact, I’m far from it. I’m weak, subject to doubt and insecurity just like the next person. However, I know where my hope lies, and it’s not in a car, bank account, or timetable. God is my source, not man or technology or circumstances. Every crisis or unexpected situation is a chance for growth and character development if I will be open to that possibility. That’s my goal….to see what He wants me to see in whatever presents itself as I walk through this life. With His help, I can be a positive influence on those around me not only by what I say and do, but by how I act when life throws me curve balls and knocks me flat on my back. It’s not about falling….it’s about getting up, and if not in my own strength, with the strength of the One who created the planets, stars, and every living thing. As long as I keep my eyes on Him this will all work out the way it should. It’s when I get in the way that things get dicey.
God is good all the time, even when life doesn’t go as planned. His ways are higher. He sees the end from the beginning. If we could just remember that, it would make life a lot better…….