As a young professional living on a very tight budget, affording the “stupid crap” that happens unexpectedly and tends to skew toward “expensive” is tough. This is an area that has greatly stretched my faith. Usually, the “stupid crap” involved my car, Ida Mae. RIP Ida–I now have a new car, Leo. Leo recently had work done involving the rear tie rods. Since, all has been going well–too well. Tonight, I realized that at some point in the past few days my car got hit by another vehicle. I have hit enough things with my car–not this one, but my precious first car Ida Mae–to know what it feels and sounds like to hit something, and that did not happen. I was walking out to my car from Wal*Mart this evening at dusk and saw what I thought was liquid pouring out from my headlight. I got closer and realized it wasn’t liquid, it was a chunk of bumper completely missing, along with a dent and crack on the driver’s side of the bumper. It looked like more of a side impact. I looked for a note on my windshield and saw nothing. Fixing my bumper isn’t exactly an expense I can afford right now, so needless to say I was annoyed. I understand that this is the result of the action of a person, but Satan seeks whom he may devour, and finances are an area in which I am vulnerable to attack and doubting God. I spent way too much time saying “God, WHY?! You KNOW I can’t afford to fix this!” It was kind of funny as I drove home, skipping out on Ladies’ Night at church because I wasn’t about to make myself a weepy spectacle, that every song that came on the radio was about thankfulness and God’s faithfulness. With 5 minutes left in my drive, I made the choice to be thankful and praise Him despite circumstances. They’ve been worse, and He has always stayed near.
Satan can afflict us physically (our bodies, our loved ones, and our possessions), mentally, and emotionally, but when your soul has been redeemed and covered in the blood of Christ, all of you belongs to JESUS. He gives peace that Satan cannot touch because it is not of this world, it is not as the world gives. “In this world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”-John 16:33
I believe “tribulation” includes the “stupid crap” like car problems, family problems, financial problems–the things that happen to us that are not self-inflicted. The self-inflicted things are not tribulation, they are consequence. Don’t confuse the two and blame God for the consequences of your dumb choices. So, if all of these are under the umbrella of “tribulation” what can we conclude? That we need to be of good cheer because in this world, Jesus has overcome and ALL things are under Him. Even the “stupid crap” must be in submission. The more “stupid” the “crap” the more God will show Himself strong! You have NOT escaped His attention!
Shoutout to all my friends who are in similar situations–Jesus knows your troubles, frustrations, stressors, and ALL of your needs. He has promised to meet all of our needs when our priorities are right. When we seek HIS kingdom first, and “give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord” (1 Cor 15:58) He will meet our needs. We aren’t to have a worry.
We will see how this all plays out, but of this I am certain: if I am fully doing the work of the Lord (not stressing and worrying about circumstances, not idolizing my troubles, and instead allowing myself to dwell on Christ and what is true, noble, and lovely) He will uphold His end of the promise. “For as the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the LORD who has mercy on you”-Isaiah 54:10
The word of the Lord will not go out in vain nor will it return void–I believe He gives us faith and reminders of His promises in these circumstances because He will uphold His promises and wants us to be aware of them, not just everything “working out” because that’s what happens. Every good and perfect gift is from the Lord.
Praying that you will see Jesus, turning to Him while He is near so that you may receive mercy and forgiveness. When it is difficult to praise Him, do it anyways. His mercy, forgiveness, and peace are so liberating and I would not be able to praise Him in the midst of this small trial had He NOT shown me immense kindness, patience, mercy, forgiveness, and peace.
Seek the Lord while He may be found!
May God make His face shine upon you and may His truth take root in your heart!
“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”-1Cor15:57-58