Saturday, October 13, 2012
After my car accident I stood on the side of the freeway waiting for the tow truck, and even in that moment, I knew God would redeem the situation. Yes, my car was totaled, but I knew God would provide for us, or at least take care of us (and God's "least" is huge). Yet, that assuring thought led to a question: If God is going to redeem this, then why did it happen in the first place? Why didn't He prevent it? These weren't questions of doubt, they were just questions I was waiting for the answers for, knowing very well that I may not get the answers and being fine with that, too. I trust my God. I have for decades. Wasn't going to quit now.
As I mulled over these thoughts, I realized life just happens sometimes. That trailer hitch sticking out in the middle of the freeway lane in the dark morning hour was an example. Life happened and God has redeemed it. I was worried we would only get about $3000.00 at best from our insurance for our 15 year old car. Kelley Blue Book predicted so for a vehicle in "excellent" condition. I didn't know if the appraisers from State Farm would see our car in "excellent" condition, so that left me hoping for the best. For some unknown reason, State Farm saw our car as worth a few thousand more than Kelley Blue Book. Life happened (I wrecked my car), and God redeemed it (way more moolah than I anticipated).
Some have said everything happens for a reason. I'm not sure I believe everything happens for a reason, but I believe there can be a great purpose birthed out of the happening. Lessons can be learned, growth can occur, thankfulness can spring forth.
The opposite can also happen. Bad happenings give birth to bitterness, unforgiveness is harbored, and blame is placed. "It's not fair!" we may cry like a child. But life isn't fair! It's just not. We don't always get what we deserve, good or bad. In his book A Grace Disguised, Jerry Sitser suggests that the universe we live in is a cruel place. Instead of asking, "Why me?" he has learned to say, "Why not me?" He did not come to this philosophy easily, for this is a man whose above mentioned book was inspired by the tragedy of losing his mother, his wife, and one of his little daughters at the hands of a drunk driver. He writes, "The problem of expecting to live in a perfectly fair world is that there is no grace in that world, for grace is grace only when it is undeserved." I'd rather live with opportunities of grace bestowed upon me then getting what is fair all the time. Sometimes "fair" isn't fun.
My wife and I were discussing this "Life happens and God redeems it" philosophy this afternoon. We were on a fundraising trip. We were headed to pick up our kids, keep one more appointment then hit the road for home... when our only automobile began to sputter and eventually die. Hmph. So now were stranded in Shingle Springs (thankful for a place to stay), repair shops are not open on Sunday (glad the kids are out of school on Monday), and I have no idea what is wrong with our van. I do know this, it was a lot easier to say "Life happens and God redeems it" this afternoon than it was later this evening standing on the side of the road waiting for the tow truck AGAIN... but I still believe it.