Last week, I woke up to a beautiful sunny day. The light was shining through the curtains and all seemed right with the world. I did my usual routine; strong coffee/comfy chair/Bible and the reading in my devotional was Psalm 93, kicking off with some verses about God’s mighty voice being louder, more powerful than all the ‘stuff’ around us.
‘Great’, thought I, ‘I’ll remember that the next time I’m stressing about things’…and like every good social media person, I shared it to Twitter.
Little did I know what the day would hold.
By noon, I was being mauled. Not literally (no wild dogs or grizzly bears round here), but another kind, which I’ll skip the detail on. But the emotional effect lingered with me all day and I struggled to shake it off.
As I drove home, I suddenly felt tired, shaken and a tad overwhelmed. And then just as I started to feel a wee bit sorry for myself, there was a noise.
Err, what? Red light on car, the dashboard flashing with a message;
Engine overheating. Stop car immediately or die.
(I may have added the ‘or die’ bit for dramatic effect).
Seriously, could this day get any worse? I wasn’t too far from home so limped the vehicle back to the house, rang a few friends and then called the RAC, who diagnosed something-or-other (which sounded complicated and catastrophic) and booked me in for a tow the next day.
Thankfully I was able to borrow a car for the next few days and, realising that my dramas were absolutely nothing in comparison to some of the terrible suffering others are facing, gave self a stern talking-to.
A day later, I really needed to be reminded of that, when attempting to avoid a person/speeding trolley in the supermarket, I went head over heels, crunching my foot into a position feet are not meant to be crunched. Ended up at the hospital with a foot the size of a Yeti. So much for going to all the trouble of borrowing a car – with the latest calamity, I couldn’t even flippin’ well drive it.
And so, stuck in the house with leg elevated for a few days (you should see my glorious rainbow bruises), I had time to reflect. Browsing through Twitter, I saw the verse that I’d read and shared at the beginning of the week;
The floods have lifted up, O Lord. The floods have lifted up their voice. The floods lift up their waves, The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, than the mighty waves of the Sea.
It felt like I’d had a week of drama and yet before it had even started, God had already given me the verse I’d need, at the end of it all.
Couldn’t he have just, you know, let me avoid all the drama in the first place? If I were God, that’s what I’d do.
But, as much as I’d like a life without trouble, it just doesn’t work like that. The truth is without the maulings and meltdowns, lots of us wouldn’t even know if our faith was real. If God is only praised and exalted when life is good, we never learn important truths about trusting him, when it’s really quite rubbish.
I sometimes wish there was an easier way, but I also know that my best, most amazing lessons with God, have been learned during the times when life was at its most difficult.
And so back to Psalm 93; The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters.
He most definitely is. But sometimes we have to be in the middle of the noise, to learn that.