When we were in Indiana for the holidays, I had a little
accident that reminded me of some lessons.
One Sunday evening on the way to church, we took Beth's
grandmother home. I went down the driveway to let her out
at the back door. I turned around in the water-soaked yard
as I had done before, and got stuck. I didn't want to try
and dig us out wearing my dress clothes, so I decided to
call a tow truck.
Aggravated and embarrassed, waiting for the tow truck
in the warm living room, I started feeling sorry for myself.
I have a reputation of getting vehicles stuck when I go
to Evansville, which has earned me a reputation of being
a "city slicker" around Beth's family. The last thing I
needed was the embarrassment of getting stuck again, and
calling a tow truck.
One tow truck came and couldn't get down the narrow driveway,
so a second driver with a different truck had to be called
out. Waiting on the trucks, I began to ask myself, "What
can I learn from this experience?"
Keep it in Perspective
God teaches us not to measure or compare ourselves, with
ourselves. If we do, we are without understanding (2 Cor.
This was my problem. I was comparing my very mild trial,
to the life of ease and luxury to which I've become accustomed,
living in the affluent comforts of the United States.
So I began thinking about people who really have life
bad. I thought about people who are suffering from horrific
illness and grief. I also thought about the poor, in our
country and around the world. And I thought about brethren
who are suffering for the cause of Christ, oppressed and
persecuted for their faith.
Don't Pout, Make Lemonade
This reminded me that my little problem was insignificant,
and that I am really blessed. My whole attitude changed,
and I decided to make good use of my time rather than pout.
I remembered the old expression: When life hands you
a lemon, make lemonade.
I thought about Scriptures like:
- "And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations,
knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and
perseverance, proven character; and proven character,
hope; and hope does not disappoint. . . ." (Rom. 5:3-5).
- "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter
various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith
produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect
result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking
in nothing" (Jas. 1:2-4).
I couldn't make it to church that night, so I decided to
pray and think about God. This was a lot better than pouting
and sulking. And the night ended up being a positive experience
rather than a negative experience, compared with what it
would have been otherwise.