Out of the Blue

Dave Jones

"When times are good, be happy, but when times are bad, consider:  God has made the one as well as the other.  Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future."  Ecclesiastes 7:14

So, God allows things to happen in our life and we usually do not know before they occur.  This is particularly difficult for those of us who pride ourselves in our controlled and disciplined life.  For example, a number of years ago, I ran my pick-up (entrusted to me by my employer) into Pastor Art's bumper.  Now that was definitely not something I would ever imagine I would do!  I mean, I am disciplined and in control!  How could that happen?  As you might imagine, I gave this event a lot of thought as I tried to understand what had happened.  Eventually, I had to admit that I simply (or stupidly!) had allowed my thoughts to drift and become inattentive to my driving.  I realized that I had failed to be disciplined with my thoughts and wasn't as self-controlled as I had assumed myself to be.  Could this lead to a moral or ethical failure sometime in the future if I didn't stay alert?  I had become prideful in this area and perhaps God was helping me to be aware of my vulnerability.  Sin is always present, waiting to destroy.

Besides exposing my prideful attitude, I was reminded how powerful fear is and how much it can affect our thoughts.  Have you ever experienced that horrible, empty feeling in your stomach when you realize that you have done something terribly wrong?  My first thoughts were, "how can I undo this?" then "maybe it won't be noticed".  Eventually, I captured my emotions and the sinful thoughts of avoiding my responsibility.  I did ask God to help me to control my fear and give me the strength to let Pastor Art and others (including my employer!) know what had occurred.  Perhaps this is how King David felt when confronted by Nathan.  Will I always be ready to confess?  Perhaps God was reminding me to trust Him in every circumstance.

Finally, I thought of God's protection.  If you had looked at my truck to measure what had happened to Art's truck, you would have thought that his truck will have significant damage.  However, there wasn't enough damage that was even noticeable unless you pointed it out, even then, you had to look closely.  It was as though God had placed a shield around his truck and blasted my truck!  I still don't understand how it was possible for the side of my truck to be crushed and there be no visible damage to Pastor Art's truck.  Maybe this was an apt illustration of how God's protection can exist in any circumstance, even when it doesn't appear to be possible.  Will I always place my trust in God, even when it doesn't seem possible that He could protect me?  Perhaps God wants to remind me to rely on Him in all situations.

So, God allows things to happen in our lives and we won't always know when they will occur.  However, we can be happy in the good times, and when times are bad, we can consider how God may be using these times in our lives.

"Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty."  Job 5:17

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