To Know or Not To Know?

why.gifThat is my question.  Why does God allow bizarre things into our lives?  This past Sunday morning, as I was about to begin my early morning paper route, I got a flat tire.  Hey, no problem!  I just got out the spare, jacked up the car, and changed tires.  Took a little extra time but was okay.

This morning, 3 days later, I am in the parking lot of the newspaper distribution warehouse.  My car is filled with papers, bagged and ready to be delivered.  I start the car, put it in reverse, and hear a loud dragging sound.  I get out, and sure enough, another flat tire!  Now, this could have been a major problem, since I had used the spare and now would not normally have had another one.  However, a friend of mine in our church had just the day before gotten me a tire, balanced, and ready to be mounted.  So again, I jacked up the car, changed the tire out and went on my way.

Then it happened.  My wife, who accompanies me on our daily, twilight newspaper adventures, asked the question, “What do you think the Lord is trying to teach us?”

I don’t know.

Many times trials work toward developing patience.  Although I’m sure I have plenty of room to grow in this area, I am generally a very patient person.  I was not impatient either of these two times and actually kind of laughed through them.  Patience?  I don’t think so.

Sometimes trials can be a method of divine discipline.  While I struggle daily with sin, do you know anyone who has repented over a besetting sin because of a flat tire?  Discipline?  I don’t think so.

Trials can also make us dependent on God.  Numerous times, trials have literally backed me into a corner where no one could help but God.  How could these flat tires make me more dependent?  Well, I suppose they could increase my financial burden.  In fact, the primary reason I have a paper route is to pay off medical bills from my youngest son’s hospitalizations over the last few years.  The church pays me a good and fair salary.  So, would God punish me financially for trying to relieve financial debt?  I don’t think so.

Often in history, God’s people have seen trials open up opportunities to witness for Christ.  Both of my flat tires happened in the middle of nowhere.  Although I won’t say these trials are not designed for this purpose, they haven’t seemed to provide those opportunities yet.

Now granted, if I get a third flat tire in the next few days before I’ve replaced the spare, I will be in a bit more of a fix.  But assuming that does not happen and since I plan to replace all the tires on my vehicle this Saturday, why the flat tires?

Is it out of God’s control?  Hardly.  Is it for a purpose?  All things are to those who love God.  So, how do I answer my wife’s question?

I’m not sure.  But I do know that throughout history followers of God have encountered the unknown.  How many generations of Israelites died believing in a coming Messiah, but never seeing that prophecy realized?  The words of Hebrews 11 come to mind:

And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.  Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.  Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:  And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:  They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented [“had flat tires”–it’s in the Greek!];  (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.  And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:  God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

They had the promise but they never saw Jesus of Nazareth with their own eyes.  No wonder Simeon and Anna were so overcome at the sight of the young Messiah.  The important thing for those struggling with the unknown was that they “obtained a good report through faith.”  So, until I know God’s intent in this situation, I will trust.  I know that God does all things well.  Believe me, He does flat tires well.  Maybe His intent is to use my experience to encourage someone else who IS really struggling with a trial. 

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