Let’s start with the fun stuff. I was supposed to announce the winners of last week’s contest in a post already, but I’ve had limited internet access this week and wasn’t able to post. So, belatedly, I wish hearty congratulations to the two winners of the baby items giveaway–
Katie Beth and Lori!!
Girls, email me your mailing addresses & I’ll get those certificates to you asap!
When it rains, it pours, right? We’ve been hearing this little phrase a lot lately.
- The transmission in our car died and our car was in the shop for a month having that replaced, plus the shocks & struts. $Cha-ching$
- Our dog began limping again on a knee that was completely replaced in doggy surgery four years ago.
- The hose to our kitchen sink sprayer sprang a leak and my sweet, wonderful, talented husband tried to fix it himself, but being good at a great many things, handy-manning is not one of them. So, I was without a kitchen sink for a few days.
- Our TV died.
- Our oven died.
- Our laptop died.
- We had a medical emergency with a close family member.
- My three year-old opened the pantry to get a snack and the cabinet door fell off. Just fell off.
- My doctor broke his hand skiing and won’t be able to deliver our baby.
Most of this all happened within a week.
My first response to the deluge of chaos was my go-to “seriously?”
Followed by these thoughts:
What are we doing wrong that God is allowing all of this stuff to happen? (He’s punishing us.)
Why is everything falling apart all at one time? (Life is unfair.)
What about that whole “working for goodness for those who love Him” thing? (Not trusting in what I know to be the truth.)
All of these thoughts were sinful. Flat out.
But then I had this thought– what are my blessings? Yep, I started counting them. And they outweighed the chaos, of course.
Here’s the thing, though. I actually said to my husband, “We’re under attack right now and we need to get ourselves right before the Lord. Something is wrong. I don’t know what, but we need to fix it.”
Then Sunday rolls around and our Sunday school lesson speaks to me in such a way that I know God has been hearing my prayers these past few weeks and he’s reminding me that even in the pouring rain, I’ve got the best umbrella.
The jist of the lesson centered around the idea that our circumstances often affect how confidently we trust Jesus. When things aren’t going our way, we’re tempted to lean toward several spiritual dangers.
Note that this is exactly what I did without even realizing it.
Danger 1– We doubt what we believe. When things don’t go our way, we give more power to what we think is supposed to happen rather than to what God promises.
Danger 2– We believe that God is treating us unfairly and we forget that challenges in our lives help mold us to be like Christ.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Danger 3– We believe that God is punishing us for things we’ve done in the past. This thought forces us to change our behavior, thinking that we can somehow “stop” the punishment in favor of blessings, putting emphasis on our works instead of on the two things we know to be true of Christ’s sacrifice for us– grace and mercy.
There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
I am often especially guilty of Danger 3– thinking that God is punishing instead of realizing that although he allows consequences for our actions, I have been forgiven through the greatest atonement.
When the rain is pouring down, the umbrella that keeps me dry is the knowledge and faith in the saving grace of Christ.
No matter what happens in my life, no matter what the circumstances, everything points back to Jesus. I’m being molded and shaped to be more like him. My faith is being strengthened.
God’s blessings are prominent among the raindrops.
After all, it’s the rain that makes the flowers grow.
Share with me: Which of the three dangers above are you most likely to lean toward when raindrops are pouring in your life?
**The Sunday school material we use is The Gospel Project, Spring 2013, Lifeway Publishers.