Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What Happens When

What happens when... you stub your toe. Forget your laptop at home for work. Leave the oven on. Break a dish. Learn your furnace is broken. Have a leak in your ceiling. Find out someone you really liked or perhaps dearly loved passed away. All within a matter of days. And then one more thing on top of that goes wrong.

Then what? 

Do you totally freak out, give up on God, and hide behind some pretense that everything's okay even though it's not? Or are you open, honest, and real with the people you love about how broken this all makes you feel? And how little hope and trust you have in God when it seems like everything is falling apart?

I know, I've been there.

It's easy for us to blame God, think he's forgotten or abandoned us, or left us to fend for ourselves.

But that's a lie. God is always there. Deuteronomy 31:8 tells us "It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed."

We can trust God and rely on his sovereignty to guide us. He is there even when we don't feel him. He's there, allowing things to happen for his glory and our good.

Let me give you a small example:

Sunday afternoon I was tempted to feel defeated when our garage door decided to stop working. We have an unattached 2-car garage and I went out to get something from the freezer out there. But the garage door only came up a few inches before stopping, and wouldn't go any further. I hollered at Tim who tried his hand at it, and we were manually able to get it open with some finagling.

Long story short, Tim called his brother Paul {the general contractor I told you about last week}, and he helped talk Tim through what he's going to have to do. {And in the interim we either have to park in the driveway or Tim will get the cars in and out of the garage each day until we're able to get it fixed. Ughhh.}

I know there can be worse things, but it just felt like the end of the world momentarily, ya know? I was slightly tempted to tell God "why another thing right now?!"

I lifted up a quick plea for help and God immediately calmed my spirit when I was about to complain, and he reminded me of what I've been reading in the book Radical lately, about the staggering and dire needs of billions of people around the world.

It. shut. me. up.

It's easy for us to think "woe is me" and "God isn't showing favor on me," but it's simply not true.

God is amazing, just, fair, loving, and gracious. He shows favor to me in more ways than I can even begin to count. No matter what we're going through, it could always be worse. No matter what we think we're deprived of, we have more than many others.

That doesn't mean our feelings and frustrations don't matter, but in light of what so many others are going through, why complain about your garage door breaking?

Just stop and thank God you have a garage in the first place.


Future of Hope said...

Wow. This hit home today.

Thanks for the reminder, dear friend.

Kimberly said...

This is a great post! Thanks for sharing:) Hope you are doing well!