We cycle through times of obedience, rising from our wrecks by grace through trials and then back to dilapidation again. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
Years ago I owned a classic car, a 1966 Corvair Monza coupe. It was in fair shape when I bought it, although there was some rust in the front and rear fender areas and the paint was somewhat faded. Basically, however, the car looked and drove very well; that is until I wrecked it in an accident. I was hit from behind on the freeway and pushed into another car. The damage was extensive. I needed to replace a front fender and one in the rear. These parts would need to be repainted, so the entire car would have to be repainted. Several weeks later, when the work was finished, I picked up my car. I was am
azed at how it looked. The accident, however unfortunate, had improved its appearance immensely. The rust was gone and the faded paint had been transformed into a new, gleaming finish. I drove away from the body shop with a new pride of ownership, forgetting completely the sickening feeling of looking at my beautiful car smashed and dented after the accident. The car had risen from a wreck and become a real classic in the true sense of the word.
I began with a classic car which became somewhat dilapidated and commonplace, only to end up with a classic car again even more special than when I bought it. Had I kept the car to this day and driven it regularly as one should a car, the cycle would have repeated itself several times–classic, common, and classic again. In God’s eyes our lives appear to him in a very similar fashion. We cycle through times of obedience, rising from our wrecks by grace through trials and then back to dilapidation again. Bringing us back through tribulation is how God maintains each of us as classic Christians.
Here’s a thought from C. S. Lewis: “I am progressing along the path of life in my ordinary contented condition, when suddenly a stab of pain threatens serious disease, or a newspaper headline threatens us all with destruction. At first I am overwhelmed, and all my little happiness look like broken toys. And perhaps, by God’s grace, I succeed, and for a day or two become a creature consciously dependent on God and drawing its strength from the right sources. But the moment the threat is withdrawn, my whole nature leaps back to the toys. Thus the terrible necessity of tribulation is only too clear. God has had me for but 48 hours and then only by dint of taking everything else away from me. Let Him but sheathe the sword for a minute, and I behave like a puppy when the hated bath is over– I shake myself as dry as I can and race off to reacquire my comfortable dirtiness in the nearest flower bed. And that is why tribulation cannot cease until God sees us remade.” (From The Problem of Pain; used by permission of William Collins Sons and Co., Ltd. quoted in Daily Walk, May 16/17, 1992.)
God’s Word tells us that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. This is reassuring as you and I face wrecked lives nearly every day. With C. S. Lewis we lament our lives at various times, awash in temptation and poor judgement. We get wrecked and God allows it. In fact he uses it. That’s when God reaches down and sends us back to the body shop of his love for repairs that are restorative, even refining. He knows that we will get back out on life’s road and become dilapidated again, so he allows the wreck again. Classic, common, classic. It’s a cycle of grace that is necessary to keep us locked in his love. Fortunate for us he will never sell us or trade us away as I did the Corvair. He owns us for eternity, so don’t lament the wreck when it happens. Just remember that he will always put us back on the road again, better than ever.
We pray. Thank you Lord for loving us so much that you never let us go, allowing us to wreck in order to become each time more classic in faith and Christian living. Forgive us Father when we complain about the challenges that you bring our way, forgetting that these are designed to build us, not take us down. Remind us Lord that your aim is to restore us every day, closer to yourself. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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