Flat tires and financial fires

At church we’ve been going through a sermon series on the book of Luke.  This past week was on Luke 12:22-34 and had to do with worry and anxiety in our lives.  Last week it was about covetousness and this week’s sermon dovetails nicely with it.

It’s easy to sit back and think “I’ve got this anxiety thing handled.”  I used to be a worrier, but I’m past that now.  God has given me the strength to handle all things.  And coveting?  Not happening here.  I don’t go on benders adding to the book pile or cd collection anymore.  I’m not out buying new computers every six months.

That’s all well and good.

What happens when your debit card gets blocked because someone tried to use it in California to buy $260.00 worth of gas?  What happens when you’re at the ATM because you are out of cash at the moment and it keeps declining your withdrawal?  Oh and you were getting cash to buy dinner because you are hungry and starting to feel a bit cranky, so what happens?

Are you still thinking about the sermon then?  Or are you freaking out and getting more worried by the minute?  Is God still in control or are have you taken the wheel back because even though you can’t see the road you still think you have a better chance of not crashing the car?

I asked my wife what she thought of my reaction.  If I have learned nothing else in 13 years of marriage I know my wife is the best indicator of whether or not my behavior is acceptable.  It took me at least 5 years to learn it, but I know it now.  So I asked her ‘on a scale of 1 to 10 how did I handle circumstances?’

She gave me a 9.5.

A year ago I probably would have gotten 6-7.

Three years ago I know I would have come in under 5 somewhere.

To be clear I’m not saying I didn’t get frustrated.  I’m not saying I won’t mishandle something in the future.  For this week though I firmly lived in the truth of the Word.  I stopped and prayed because I knew if I didn’t I would try to assume control and become angry and anxious.

This isn’t me.  This is God working through me.

The world doesn’t back down though.  Satan still stands accusing.  In the process of writing this I woke up to a flat tire on my car.  I of course found this out after I had a shower and was dressed for work.  I took a deep breath, emailed my team that I would be late, and wrestled the spare tire onto the car.  I then took a 2nd shower and put new clothes on because it’s like 80% humidity out there and I am a big guy.

Was I calm, cool, and collected through the whole process?  No.  I didn’t bang tools or cuss a blue streak as I’ve been prone to in the past.  It look longer than I would’ve hoped and I bent the plastic under my car in trying to find the frame for the jack.  To top it off I have to coordinate with my wife to get to the shop and get it paid for since my debit card replacement was ordered just yesterday.  So not the ideal set of circumstances.

This isn’t me.  This is God working through me.

God is still in control.  This will pass as well.

Whatever tomorrow brings, God is still in control.

Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. (Luke 12:31, ESV)

Photo is ‘Flat Tyres, Flat Tires’ by Adrian Van Leen released under Creative Commons

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  • Tammy Fuller

    A great reminder of how we are in control of how we react to circumstances. Thank you.

  • Tommy D

    Great reminder, Matt!