I Am Thankful

Suppertime highway rush hour traffic.   Five lanes of highway, all eager to get home in this week before Christmas.  As the lanes separate to transform from highway into streets, traffic slows and gridlock halts all progress.  Doing a quick shoulder check before changing lanes, the car behind fails to notice the stopped vehicles in front…WHAM!

This was my husband’s drive home last week.  Relaxed and totally unaware of what was to come, the impact took him completely by surprise.  The lady who had run into the back of our van was so sorry.  She just didn’t notice the traffic stop.  Was he sure he was alright?  Oh, she was so sorry!  My husband was compassionate, after all, accidents happen…don’t they?  They traded insurance information and off she went to her children’s Christmas concert while my husband and our van hobbled home.

We are a family of seven (six of us at home one at university).  We don’t fit in a car.  That van has taken us on hours and hours of travel, it has carried us and our surfboards to the beach, it has acted as a shelter during rainstorms while we were camping, it has raced us to the hospital during childhood emergencies.  We count on the van and like most families, the week before Christmas, we are in no position to replace it.

During subsequent phone calls with the insurance company and visits to the appraiser and the doctor, I found myself wondering why.  Why this?  Why now?  Why to us?  Why God?

Interestingly enough, God has not told me why.  He has reminded me, however, that even if I don’t know why, He does.

My husband has been working on repairing our van for months.  Money and time, that’s our van.  To have it wrecked after all of that is discouraging.  Before he committed to fixing the van, my husband considered buying a little car.  What if God allowed the time and money to go into the van because if my husband had been hit in a little car he would not have come home?  What if God allowed the accident to happen now because after Christmas, the transmission was going to fall out and this way there will be at least a little bit of insurance money?  What if that lady hitting him kept her from something worse somewhere else?

Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

God knows all of the details.

In the military, we used to quip, “Ours is not to reason why, ours is just to do and die.”  God wants more for us than to just “do and die” but the first part is true.  Ours is not to reason why.  God does not hold us accountable for what He allows to happen in our lives.  God is much more interested in how we respond to what comes our way.

1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

I am not thankful for the accident that has hurt my husband and left him off work for weeks.
I am thankful that God has provided a job that allows him to take the time he needs to heal.
I am thankful that God allowed him to walk away from the accident and we will have him with us for Christmas

I am not thankful that we’re going to lose our van.
I am thankful that my dad is going away and has offered to let us use his car while we figure out what to do.
I am thankful that my husband has friends who have been teaching him how to work on vehicle repair so when we buy something older (that we can afford) he will be able to make it work for us.

No matter what is going on in my life, my responsibility is to remember that God is in control and perhaps I don’t but He always knows what is best for me – even when it’s hard.

Ephesians 5:20
Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalm 34:1
I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will ALWAYS be on my lips.

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