My car wouldn’t start this morning.
When I got home last night it was running just fine. But this morning I got in… turned the key… and NOTHING. Not a single solitary sound. I might have actually hit my hand upon the dashboard in frustration. If I cussed.. that would hav ebeen the moment it came out but since I don’t cuss I yelled instead, “No! Not this morning! God, please!?!” But no luck. It wouldn’t start. And then the tears came. Because… I needed to be somewhere. Because… It was overwhelming. Because… I didn’t even know what was wrong. Because…. it made me feel inadequate.
Well in the midst of my day filled with tears and car problems God talked to me about two things that I need to learn. And well…He chose to use my car to teach them to me.
When I was getting ready this morning… when the day was still butterflies and rainbows not storm clouds and spilt milk… I was in the bathroom doing my hair and makeup thinking about how God is worthy to be praised. This thought lead me to think about how we praise Him… we praise Him for what He has given us and what He has done. But then it hit me… those things are temporary. Just look at Job… Job was blameless before the Lord and yet, practically anything and everything that could happen to a person the Lord ALLOWED to happen. So, what God gives to us and what He does for us can be taken away quickly. Instead of thanking God for what He has done, we should be praising Him for who He is because that will never change. If the Lord has provided a home, food, money, etc. then we should praise Him as the One who provides. If we have been saved by His grace and brought into right relationships with Him then He is the God who saves, the God who reconciles and the God who redeems. He should be praised as our Creator… the King of King and the Lord of Lords…. You see? Instead of praising God for what we have…. although it is important to be thankful and realize how blessed we are with those things…. we should really be praising Him daily for who He is.
Well… it was after I was thinking about this that I went out to my car and it wouldn’t start. After taking a few moments to freak out in the car, then calling work and AAA it hit me. God had told me how I was to take this day. Instead of being thankful that I had a car and praising God for providing me with that car…. or for praising God for my job and thus the money that came out of that….. I was to praise God for being my provider and trust Him in that.
Well… you would think that that would be a big enough lesson for me right?!? WRONG. God was not done.
I kind of instigated this second lesson…. I mean I did ask God so….. It was probably the fact that I kept crying all day that lead me to ask Him. I mean hello, tt’s a car problem… yea it sucks… but really, GET OVER IT KAITLIN! But… I just couldn’t. The amount it was going to take to fix it and the number of things wrong kept going up. Well okay the truth is I was hoping it was a minor problem, hopefully only one thing wrong. Nope. Both my starter and my ignition. Ugh. Not what I wanted to hear and definitly NOT the price I was hoping for. So well… I cried multiple times. This morning when it happened, on the phone with my dad after I found out how much and then again on my way home. So finally, I thought… okay God, why do I keep crying and why can’t I just let this go. You see… I KNOW that He is taking care of me because He is my Provider. He has taken care of practically everything from the moment I said yes to coming to New England. So I was pretty certain that wasn’t it.
Well… when you ask God to show you something about yourself He is more than willing to oblige. So in the car (not my car, since mine is out of commission, my boss let me borrow hers today) on my way home after work…. while I was crying, yet again… the Lord showed me that my trouble wasn’t in trusting that He would provide but it was that He was using others to provide for me. I have this problem with feeling like a burden to others. I don’t want to create hardship for other people and so it is hard for me to accept help. But since I’m an intern that means that I don’t make a whole lot of money, mind you it’s not a measly amount either, but the Lord has been using others to provide for me. And it has been hard every step of the way. Well… the Lord wants me to allow Him to provide through other people. And I’m truly trying but… it’s a constant struggle for me.
But this wasn’t the only thing that I learned in the car today. The Lord brought to mind my blog post about Noah the other day. Since God is a God of relationship, He enables us and wants us to partner with Him in ministry. And over the past few weeks I have been very thankful that the Lord has given me the opportunity to be in ministry because that is what ministry truly is… God allowing us to partner with Him to reach others. Well… God kinda threw that back in my face today. He said, “What you have been so thankful over the past week is the very opportunity that I am giving to other people in your case. When you fight against Me providing for you through others you fight against Me allowing others to partner with Me in ministry. Stop being so self-centered that you are stuck on how hard it is for you, and realize what I am able to do in them because of it.”
Well. That pretty much shut me up because how could I be soo thankful about something and yet squash that some opportunity for others?
Today was a pretty hard day. It was full of emotions and disappointments and bad surprise. But.. there was much good and much to be thankful for. God is my Ever Patient Teacher. He is my Provider. and thankfully… He gets through my stubbornness and emotions to speak to me in the midst.
So even though I sat in my car and ended up going nowhere… the Lord is bringing me somewhere!
Where in your own life are you fighting God to let others do something you are so thankful about?
How do you hear most from the Lord? Is it a time during the day? In the midst of trial or joy?
Take a moment to be thankful and to praise God not just for what He has done and given to you but for who He is!