Yesterday, I received a phone call that made my heart stop. My son’s girlfriend called and frantically cried, “Sandy, we’ve just been in an accident and the car flipped.”
The first thing I asked was if she, Steven, or Joshlyn (my granddaughter) was hurt and her answer was “No, we’re all okay. Steven’s really upset and Joshlyn’s crying — but that’s because I can’t find her pacifier.” She also clarified that it was the other vehicle that had flipped and my heart rate began to go down. They were on their way to the beach for the day when the accident happened, so I assured her that my husband was on the way to pick them up. Then I got on my knees and said a long prayer of thanks for God‘s protection and providence.
After Kelly had collected them and brought them home, Steven said, “Mom, I really messed up. I ran the stoplight by accident. Both airbags deployed. My car, my car…what am I going to do?”
My response to him was this, “Have you thanked God that you’re all safe?”
“Yes ma’am” he assured me. “That’s the first thing I did — even before I got out of the car.”
I explained to him that his car was just a hunk of metal, plastic, and rubber. It could be replaced. It was temporal, worldly. The most important fact was that they walked away from a terrible accident, badly shaken but physically unscathed.
I walked over to my mother’s house and told her what had happened and she just looked at me.
“What?” I asked.
“There have been times in the past that you would have been freaking out uncontrollably right now,” she commented.
I agreed with her. If this had been ten years ago, I would have had to take some kind of anxiety medication and would have probably gone straight to bed, crying with abandon, and just generally have fallen apart. It wouldn’t have lasted for just a night — it would have lasted a week or more.
And the reason is clear — I relied on Sandy a great deal then and God, not so much. I thought I could control my world and the things that happened in my world. When things happened that were out of my control, I lost it. I was devastated. It took me a long time to recover.
Isn’t that outrageous? To think that I had some kind of control over the events that take place in this world is ludicrous! I have no more control over what happens in my day-to-day life than I can control the movement of the earth, the change of seasons, or the passage of time.
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But I know the One who does control these things, and that is my secret. I knew this secret when I was younger but I let the losses and trials I faced in my thirties cloud my judgment and erase the memory of that wonderful secret. When things weren’t going my way, I tried to take the reins of my life and drive the chariot. The result was that both the chariot wheels came off, the chariot ended up in the ditch, and the horse ran away, leaving me with nothing but God — Who (by the way) is EVERYTHING I ever need. I’m sad that I wasted a period of my life only half-trusting God.
In this last decade, I’ve grown up a great deal spiritually. My mother says I’m the “old” Sandy, but I put it another way: I’m the “new and improved” Sandy. I am the Sandy I always wanted to be because I lean solely on my God. I let Him drive the chariot, read the road map, make the pit stops, and be my GPS.
My mother and I sang the special music at my home church (Judson Missionary Baptist Church) last night. I gave a word of testimony about yesterday afternoon’s events before we sang “The Longer I Serve Him.” (You absolutely cannot go wrong with a Bill and Gloria Gaither song!) Afterwards, the pastor came to me and said, “I have to ask: what if Steven, Casey, and Joshlyn had all died?”
Without hesitation, I said “I would still be praising God for allowing me to know and love them. I would be infinitely sad, but I would give thanks to God for His mercy. You see, even if they had perished, they know Jesus and have asked Him to be their Savior. I would survive because I know I’d see them in Heaven.”
That’s always (meaning in every situation) give thanks for everything (meaning the good, the bad, and the ugly) to Jesus. You can’t pick and chose those things for which you are grateful. It’s an all or nothing proposition. Your reward for this kind of thanks is lasting peace that passes our human understanding.
So if you ask me why I am thankful, I’m always going to point to Jesus. I’m always going to celebrate God, even when it seems the odds are against me. My favorite new quote is this:
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Good or not-so-good — what are you thanking God for today?
- Psalm 20:7 – Some trust in chariots and some in horses, (church4u2.wordpress.com)
- Music Monday: Trust His Heart (lbtk.wordpress.com)
- Let God Fight Your Battles (gods411.wordpress.com)