Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Lilies, deer, and sparrows

It has been a discouraging couple of weeks. I had been praying about doing something that would be good for me, but would cost a tidy sum of money. Then I hit a deer. With the car that I had already hit two deer with and that I was hoping would last me the winter. As per the financial guru Dave Ramsey's advice, I had dropped all non-required insurance from my car once I paid it off and it got a lot of miles on it....then I started hitting deer. That never happened when I had full coverage all of these years. In fact, it never happened before I bought this car. The deer magnet. The damage is extensive, but the car is still drives.

  Then a few days later, I finally got into the eye doctor for an eye exam.... and needed glasses. Including the exam, that cost me $457.00. Then the next day, I hit yet another deer, #4 with this same car. I did manage to stop ALMOST in time, and barely tapped it.

Later that week,  on my way back from picking up my eyeglasses, I went over some railroad tracks and my exhaust system came off towards the front of the car, instantly causing my car to rival a jet plane in sound. I figured it needed a whole new exhaust system, but that isn't going to happen on a car that might not last the winter. Fortunately, they were able to temporarily fix it by welding, and also got my deer-damaged door to stay shut and latch properly. But the days are numbered for my poor Sunfire, and I need to start looking for another car, which means a car payment and higher insurance.

  And then I got a message from someone that led to my doing something that has at least one person upset with me, and another feeling badly. Yet I feel it is for the best for all concerned. And ironically, had the person not contacted me, I would not have felt I needed to do this thing, and they would not be angry with me.

  The "icing on the cake": a friend who has planned to meet me for lunch canceled. For the third time in a row.

  Fears of the future, doubts of God truly caring, doubts of people really caring. Issues truly trusting God.

  I know there are many who are having it worse than I am, but that knowledge doesn't make things better or make everything OK when you're going through a rough patch. This is MY rough patch.

  We Americans have it so good. Most of us have everything we need, most don't face persecution for our faith or beliefs. We get used to everything going our way, and then when bad things happen, we tend to act like we should be exempt. That serving God gives us a get out of troubles free card. But it doesn't.

The Bible is full of people who went through some pretty tough stuff. They faced the lion's den, a fiery furnace, giants, beheadings, and more. Even today, there are Christians all over the world facing real persecution for their faith. In light of that, my problems are pretty small. And I'd rather have deer seeking to destroy my car than to have angry Muslims seeking to behead me for not bowing to their god and prophet.

  A song has been on my mind a lot lately: Consider the Lilies. Written in the 70's from the verses in Matthew, they still hold true today:

Consider the lilies, they don't toil or spin
But there's not a king with more splendor than them
Consider the sparrow, he don't plant or sow
But he's fed by the Master who watched him grow.

We have a heavenly Father above
With eyes full of mercy, a heart full of love
He really cares when your head is bowed low
Consider the lilies and then you will know.

  It is human nature to wonder if God cares when you're having troubles and trials. Yet His eye is on the sparrow and He knows when one falls.... and what does a sparrow do? It flies around, eats, goes to the bathroom on cars.... but God sees when one falls. And how much more important are we than a bird? Well, unless it is baby eagles in the USA, a lot more important. And even God cares more about us than baby eagles.

  I like the line in the song "we have a heavenly Father above, with eyes full of mercy, a heart full of love." We don't understand God or His ways, but we aren't God. But we know He is always good, always merciful, and always loves. And we can call Him Father.

  So today, I will work my eight hours at my job, then change clothes and go to what I enjoy: shop and eat out. Sure, it will be the usual table for one, but I think I make a pretty good dinner companion. Then if we get that dreaded white stuff they are calling for in the amounts they are calling for, I shall stay in the house on my two days off, read, and enjoy my time off.

  I shall be thankful my problems aren't worse than they are, be thankful I have money to cover my financial woes, and work on trusting God more. While I am at it, I will start praying about finding a good car at a price I can afford. After all, those sparrows need a good place to go to the bathroom.

***Written while at work today while we were slow.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Mark. So sorry you are going through this "rough spot" in the road but I really like how you ended by being thankful and working on trusting God more. It was a good read for me--I know I need to work on some of those areas! Here's hoping you find that car that is perfect for you at the price you know you can afford. Hope to see you in church tomorrow--I'll understand if you don't make it.