Last week was a trial. For about 48 hours in the middle of the week, I had more broken down vehicles to deal with than you can imagine. I was running all over town picking up rentals, arranging tows, and worrying about whether or not anything was going to be dealt with under warranty. About 33 hours into the ordeal, I sat on the floor and cried a bit. For a minute I let myself consider that the world seemed to be falling apart around me and I had no clue how to fix it. Now think about that. I was sitting on the floor crying because of automobiles. I used to say anytime something bad happened, “well, it could be worse.” It was my way to keep a positive attitude. And of course that was true until the night of Jake’s accident. For that night I sort of lost my sense of worseness; even in the shock of it all, I knew there was only one way I would make it through that trial. The thought of how tenuous life is hangs at the back of my mind all the time, and even knowing that and experiencing it, here I was, getting upset over something like poorly made radiators that allowed engines to overheat in a full blown Houston summer. But, its a very human thing to do; to get discouraged when things aren’t going well.
I took me a minute to think. All over Houston there were people who had broken down cars and some with no mean to get them fixed, no hope to get them repaired. I had seen more than a few in the last 33 hours. More than that, probably every person in Houston had something they worried about this week, some things that weighed on them and made them cry, made them feel hopeless, or scared, worried them or made them feel a moment of terror or sadness, caused them to fret, or regret. The real fact? Trials and tribulations are the way this world works. No one should be surprised and most of all, no one should think there is anyone exempt, because no one is. It doesn’t matter how much money or power or who you are, we are all faced with them.
I don’ know if you have ever been on your knees to say a prayer, but I will admit to dropping to them a few times, especially in the last couple of years and it sure was convenient to just roll on to them and bow my head then. I relaxed there for a minute, let myself think about Heaven and something bigger and better than me. I closed my eyes and thought about what God wanted me to hide in my heart and live in my life.
Here it is, here is what God wrote to me in Roman 5:3-4.” We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us-they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation.
Now before you think that is ridiculous, let me ask you something. If you want to play good tennis or be the star baseball player, how much pain and effort do you have to put into that kind of goal? Tiger Woods didn’t get to be Tiger Woods by sitting on the couch watching the game of golf and Lance didn’t achieve what he did because he gave up when trials came about. In the words of Mike Ditka, ‘You are never a loser until you quit trying.’ Growing and maturing our souls is no different than fine tuning our physical bodies for challenges.
Happy Monday. Be strong this week. Whether the trials you go through are as insignificant and really make no difference but make you pause or maybe it something much more weighing on you, I will be praying for you.