I’ve had a rough go of it the past month. For starters, my car got caught up in a freak flash flood which left me stranded, soaking wet, for 3 hours on the other side of town from my home and my family. One tow truck and four days later and I find that my engine had hyrdro-locked and my car was declared a total loss. While clearing out the car at salvage, I discovered nearly $100 in random items were missing, but of course, nobody would claim responsibility and the car had changed hands so many times by this point that it was fruitless to pursue matters beyond a few cursory exchanges.
A few days later, I got a rental vehicle for a week. Drove it home that evening and woke the next morning to find that it had a flat tire. Putting the spare on it in an elementary school parking lot proved that either everyone felt so bad for me that they just left me alone or that I was deemed not enough of a threat for the school administration to come by wondering what a strange man was doing loitering on their campus for such a long time. Eventually, I made the trek back to the rental place and got it swapped for yet another vehicle.
During the rental week, I returned home one day to find that my power was in the process of being shut off. Turns out, the power company had hiked up their rates a few months back and my scheduled payments suddenly found us a couple hundred dollars behind. Greatly disgruntled, I phoned it in and took care of the issue before the serviceman had left my yard. I asked if he could take a look at the verification I had and turn it back on, but he snapped back, “I don’t have a work order for that.” 7 hours later, and 15 minutes prior to a group of people arriving at our house, the power was finally turned back on.
I’ve found another car. The previous owner was nice and the car will suit us just fine. I’m about to head to the DMV for the second time this week with a second set of documents, hoping these will prove acceptable to the state to prove my purchase and therefore grant me the title which I so greatly deserve. Or whatever it is that paper they’ll give me proves. But, it’s been a long month.
And I’ve spent some time pondering… what is it that I’m meant to learn from all of this? We’re always told that everything has a purpose and that sometimes we just need to discover what lesson we’re meant to learn from our experiences. That even when it seems like things suck, to find the good and grow stronger because of it. It’s implied that we’ll find that super secret, super special verse in the Bible that hits home just as we need it. But here’s what I’ve been feeling I need to pass along to all of you.
Sometimes, there is no lesson. Sometimes, life is just life and things just happen. Yes, it’s always God’s plan and yes, his plan is always good. But it doesn’t mean I’m meant to climb one step closer to heaven as a result of every experience I encounter. Christ wants us to trust him fully and completely, even when there is no clear explanation and the world isn’t fully restored after the 22 minute sitcom is over. Because, let’s face it, if we spend all of our time looking for lessons to be learned amidst the chaos and negative experiences, we’ll miss the beauty and perfect detail of every waking moment of our lives. The miracle is not that “Jesus pulled me through another one” but that I was able to experience anything at all.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them”
What is my good? Unknown. At least to me. I’m not promised that everything will work out to my liking or even my immediate benefit. My good is my eternal salvation. And that means that sometimes my good might mean something that takes me one step closer to my earthly end and my eternal continuance. I’m ok with that.
So, what have I learned from this experience? Nothing. And for that, I’m glad. Now, let’s hope my title transfer and registration can get finished this millenium.