Transparency time: I’ve been somewhat stressed about a number of issues over the last week. A couple of those issues have been dragging on for a couple months. One for many months. I've tried to fill my mind with true things about God, but it's been a constant fight to keep those things at the front of my mind while these other issues have clawed to take center stage. Then last night in the middle of prayer meeting, I got a phone call that my son had been in a minor car accident. By itself, not a big deal. But in light of everything else going on, I thought to myself, “This is exactly what I need right now.”
As I drove to the site of the accident, I feared that I was going to sink deeper into melancholy. I've been fighting it for the last week. Fighting hard. I prayed, “Lord, I don't think I can take this. Please help me.” I know cognitively that God does not make mistakes, but this sure felt like one, at least in its timing. However, I was going to see that this truly was exactly what I needed right now.
You see, my son rear-ended the kindest man in West Chester. Honestly, if this man wasn't a believer, then he was an angel. He was uncommonly kind and encouraging to me and my son, expressing relief that my son was okay and saying several times, “your son’s life is more important than any damage to my vehicle.” He shared funny stories about his first car accidents as a teen, two of which happened in the same week. It seemed as if he wanted one thing - to help me be okay. Even his voice and eyes were soothing to me. As I thanked him for his kindness and understanding, he said, “God bless you.” With police report in hand, I left the scene of that accident in the dark, pouring rain, but the clouds had lifted from my heart.
It was such a simple thing. This man didn't say anything profound. He didn't exhort me from the Word. He was just a conduit of God's kindness right when I needed it. The Lord demonstrated to me that I was precisely right when I said to myself earlier, “this is exactly what I need right now.” I meant it sarcastically, but it was true. God always knows exactly what I need, and what I needed was for my son to get into the most pleasant fender-bender of all time. The other issues with which I have been troubled have not changed since yesterday, but this small gesture of the Lord’s kindness has changed my attitude about all of it.
How easy it is to live differently than what we say we believe. “God is sovereign. He is in control of all things. He forces all things to work out for our good.” But at times, this issue and that issue are so annoying to me that they couldn't possibly be for my good and I wish that they would go away right this second; they seemingly override my theology. But when I slow down long enough to think biblically, I know it's all from him. He's doing me good. When I can't take another thing, He gives me more. And there could be a million reasons why. He may make it obvious in that moment why, or I may wait until eternity future to know why. Either way, I do know that one thing is true and I must remind myself that it is true: no matter what happens, this is exactly what I need right now. I know because He has brought it about.
Psalm 145 came to me today to put a biblical interpretation on last night. Verse 13 reads, “The Lord is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.” Verse 17 says something similar: “The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works.” Verse 18, “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”
No matter what the Lord brings into my life, He does it out of faithfulness and righteousness. He's being kind and good. He is near to me, always giving me just what I need right now.