"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
- 1 John 2:15 NKJV
It was only a few weeks ago that my husband, Joe, called me from work and asked, "Are you sitting down?" Once I situated myself in a nearby chair, my husband began describing to me how he had parked his car at work as usual, and less than an hour later, it had caught on fire. Joe's company promptly called the fire department, and it took several firefighters to extinguish the fire. People stood around the scene in amazement. Then they began coming up to Joe and saying things like, "I'm so sorry about your car. What are you going to do?" People he had never even met before were offering my husband their condolences. And he found himself saying over and over, "It's only a car. It could have been a lot worse." Joe couldn't help thinking about the heart attack that almost killed him just two years previous. Since then, his priorities have changed, and as much as he had liked and appreciated his car, he tried to keep things in the proper perspective. He thanked God that he wasn't in the car when it caught fire. And he was grateful that his car wasn't parked in our garage at the time. We could have lost two cars and our house, and we could have been asleep at the time. Joe's attitude was an inspiration to all of us. Part of me wanted to cry buckets of tears, because we had just applied for a debt consolidation loan earlier that week, and losing Joe's car--which was the best car we had--seemed like a tremendous setback to me. But after we earnestly prayed about it, and sought the Lord daily for His wisdom and guidance, we realized that this series of events was actually for our benefit. God worked miraculously to enable Joe and me to buy a brand new car without it being a hardship for us. I believe that my husband's godly perspective on this calamity paved the way for the Lord to move mightily on our behalf. Scripture says: "He who is of a greedy spirit stirs up strife, but he who puts his trust in the Lord shall be enriched and blessed." (Proverbs 28:25 AMP) When disaster struck, Joe immediately chose to put his trust in God, instead of becoming angry or bitter, or demonstrating a materialistic attitude--and the Lord richly rewarded him for it.
I should have been ecstatic about my husband getting a new car, and for the most part, I was. Unfortunately, there was a part of me that was a little envious. My own car is 19 years old, and while it has served me well, it's finally beginning to show some serious wear and tear. Right after Joe got his new car, I was coming out of the dentist's office--and feeling more than a little downhearted and sore--when I spotted my car from across the street. Paint had started peeling off in some places, and rust had begun to appear. Tears sprang to my eyes and ran down my cheeks as I walked across the street and got into my car. Self-pity overwhelmed me, and I began to pour my heart out to the Lord, confessing my envy, and my desires for a new car of my own. As ashamed and guilty as I felt, I knew that it was important for me to be honest with God. I repented for my wrong attitudes, and I asked Him to help me to be genuinely happy for my husband, and to resist feeling jealous in the future. I thanked Him with all my heart for my old car, and for how it had blessed me and my family, as well as many others. And I told Him that I would not do anything foolish, but would wait on Him until He was ready to provide me with a new vehicle. It was then that the Lord reminded me of how He had revealed Himself to me in tender ways through this old car throughout the years. When the air conditioner had started malfunctioning, I asked the Lord to fix it for me, knowing full well that my husband was not about to pay to have it repaired. And He has kept it going for me all these years. Time and time again, the Lord revealed His tender loving care through this car, and as I thought about it, I realized that I would not have missed out on those precious moments for anything in the world. I'm reminded of David's words in Psalm 18: "You give me Your shield of victory, and Your right hand sustains me; You stoop down to make me great." (Psalm 18:35 NIV) If we will call upon the Lord in our times of need, even in the most trivial matters, He will "stoop down" to bless us, and to show us that He cares. What part of your life could use a touch from God today?
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for the times I put too much value on the things of this world. Please change my heart, and restructure my priorities, so that they will reflect Your values. Teach me how to be truly happy for others when they are blessed. Thank You that as I turn to You in trouble and expect You to act on my behalf, You will stoop down and touch my life in miraculous ways!
- J. M. Farro