We’ve been hard at work on our house. Sometimes it seems as if we’re making progress. Sometimes it seems as if the daunting task will never end.
Jon called from Home Depot. It was the second time he called while out on an errand – he and his dad were on a door finding mission. For some reason, I thought “Oh no! They’ve had an accident.” Close. When I answered the phone, Jon said that an eighteen-wheeler blew a tire right next to them on the interstate. When it did, a piece hit the side van window, shattering it. As Jon described to me what happened, two thoughts came to mind simultaneously. First, I thought “O Lord, just what we don’t need. Why did you allow this to happen? It’s not like we don’t have enough difficulties.” The second thought was “Thank you Lord that you protected them. It could have been so much worse.”
I took a break from sanding dry wall after I hung up the phone. I went to outside, got the mail and sat down in the sunshine to think about the situation. As I thought about the broken window, it occurred to me that it is only a broken window. I opened the mail and read a short letter from Lauren Libby, Vice President of Navigator Ministries. He writes, “The secret to obtaining freedom is learning to think like Jesus – to see the suffering, challenges and conflicts as God’s way of weaning us into the freedom of pursuing His plan for our lives.”
I thought, “Now how in the world can all these difficulties we’re experiencing be to our benefit? What can I possibly get out of it all?”
That’s when I thought about my two reactions to the broken window. One represents our worldly selfish reactions. The other represents a grateful heart focused on God and his purpose for us. I am thankful because Wednesday I was praying for a new attitude (mine had become quite sullen and self pitying). Just the fact that I had a thankful thought at the moment of bad news means that the Lord is working on my attitude.
Hey, I have to lay claim to the small victories when I can. Sometimes, during times like these, they are too far apart.
May the Lord continue His good work in you.
Grace & Peace