Monday I was in a car crash, or more fittingly several cars crashed into me while I was sitting at a red light that somebody ran. Regardless of the details, my week started out with hardship that only got added onto as the day went on. Honestly it sucks that I no longer have a car, that I have to sit around waiting for police reports and insurance companies and so on, and I’m frustrated with the way that my life has been thrown off the deep end this week. I am not going to pretend that those things are not tough and that I have not been an anxious wreck in the midst of it, but I do know some things to be true despite my situation, and I can see good in the way that God is working in my life as a result of my suffering.
God is good.
The God that I worship and serve is good and worthy of my praise despite my situation. I have full assurance of my standing with Him as a child who is loved, redeemed, and sustained (Ephesians 1:4-7). I know that though my situation is always changing and that I will waiver, my God is constant and is faithful even when my faith is shaken (2 Timothy 2:13). I know that God is working all things according to His sovereign will and for the ultimate good of those who love Him, so I can trust that He is working good through this hardship even if it isn’t obvious at the time (Ephesians 2:10). Therefore, I will persevere in faith.
God is working my hardship for good.
I can already see places in my life where God is working this situation for good, and it gives me hope for the things I can not yet see.
- Idol Smashing – I have a tendency to plan out everything. I have to feel like I have control over my schedule and what’s going on in my life. The things that were causing me additional anxiety this week (on top of my car getting smashed up) involved me having to rearrange the schedule I had worked hard to get in place. When I lose my ability to get where I need to go and control what I am doing, it makes me have to stop relying on myself for my plans. Proverbs 16:9 says “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” Even though it is uncomfortable and stressful for me, I know that God has to be in control of everything in my life, and if I am not submitting to Him and His will above my own, then that needs to change.
- Reliance – When life gets thrown into turmoil, I have to take my hands off and let God take control. I was praying recently that God would not let me get to a place where I am not relying on him in my daily life, and though the means are not what I would have expected, this puts me in a place where I need him. Psalm 54:4 says, “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.”
- Protection – In the wreck, nobody got hurt out of the seven cars involved in the wreck. That in itself is a miracle, it was a huge t-bone wreck, both cars were going around 40 mph, and they smashed into several cars other than mine. Out of the crowd of people involved there were no serious injuries, just some bruises. This was a huge relief in the midst of everything, and though not every wreck ends that way, it gave me a chance to reflect on the sovereignty of God. If He had wanted me gone, he could have taken me out. Job 14:5 says, “A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” and Philipians 1:6 says, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Knowing these things, that God has numbered my days, and that he will bring the good work he is doing in me to completion actually gives me a lot of hope because the fact that I am still breathing tells me that He is not done with me yet.
- Community – One of the places I have seen God’s grace most clearly in all of this is in my community. The friends around me have been such a picture of Acts 2:45 in the way that they are willing to offer up their possessions and literally hand me their car keys when I need them. I have seen God’s provision and love through them and the way they have served me not just now but any time I have need.
There is no need for comfort if you are not first made uncomfortable. Peace is needed by those who are restless, not by those who are already resting. I have seen God provide in my life most clearly when I am in need, not when I already have plenty; a need cannot be met without there first being a need. Therefore, although I don’t love being in the midst of hardship, it is there where I can see God move most clearly, and I am grateful for that.
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14