The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. –Psalm 18:2
It was a beautiful day on our family vacation in Jackson, Wyoming. So beautiful, in fact, that the kids and I were headed to a lake in the Grand Tetons to go for a swim. As we neared the lake, one small, black storm cloud came over the Tetons and a thunderstorm began. The kids were disappointed that the rain meant no swimming, but I assured them that this small cloud would quickly pass…and it did, but not before our car was struck by lightning.
In an instant, the hood of my car lit up like sparklers on the Fourth of July, the horn started honking, I could smell burning, and the car died. We pulled over safely to the side of the road, and the next few hours were spent waiting for a tow truck and getting back to town…not swimming. Needless to say, we were all disappointed, but ultimately thankful we were safe.
When Paul was in prison, he wrote letters to followers of Christ encouraging them to continue to conduct themselves in a manner worthy of Christ Jesus. Paul, as far as I’m concerned, had a lot to be grumpy and unthankful about. Instead, he continued to shout praises focusing on the eternal. Throughout the New Testament we are reminded not to worry, but to trust in God. Who can add an hour or minute to their day? When something bad happens it doesn’t mean God has abandoned us, it just means that life has happened. When life happens it is often an opportunity to refocus on our creator and trust that the Lord is our rock.
Life throws curve balls (or in our case lightning). While there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to why lightning struck our car, it did. Even though we lost a few days of our vacation dealing with insurance, rental car companies, and service departments, we still had a great trip. It would have just taken one of us to have a bad attitude or to be bitter or grumpy about our misfortune to have made the remainder of the trip miserable. It’s easy to get bogged down in daily worries, frustrations, and disappointments. However, I am thankful that this time we decided to keep worry and anger out of the equation and instead focus on being thankful for what we had. Now, we like to joke that we lost a few things on our trip…a sippy cup, a flashlight, and a car.
1. Are there things in your life that cause you worry even though you have no control over them?
2. What is something you can be grateful for today?
1 Samuel 2:2; Job 13:15; Philippians 1:27, 2:5; Ephesians 5:1