Friday, February 4, 2011

The car broke down, thank God!

Or, 5 questions to ask yourself in a yucky situation

a girl, a dog, and a carDo you ever play this game with yourself?

  • A bad thing happens.
  • But you want to be content anyway.
  • So you squeeze out all the blessings you can.

On Wednesday:
Me: You see that smoke? That’s not coming from us, is it?
Jenna: No. It’s another car.
Me: No, it IS us! And it’s coming from under the hood! And your temperature gauge is hot.
Jenna: And getting hotter.
Me: Pull over!

Thus it begins…

How do you make the most of a bad situation?
Here are 5 questions to ask yourself in it.
 
1. Did somebody receive an opportunity to do good?
We pulled into the closest gas station. I called Jeff (who was in another state—what did I expect him to do?). A man in the Texaco asked Jenna if we wanted him to look at the car. Yes! He poked around, added water, and recommended a mechanic.

Jenna calls him her toothless angel. Whoever he is, I hope he feels blessed by our gratefulness for his generosity (Galatians 6:9-10).

2. Couldn’t it have been worse?
Goodness, yes. It would have been worse if Jenna had been alone. If it had been night. If we weren’t close to help. If we had been on our way to something we couldn’t reschedule. If the car had caught fire. If Sandy hadn’t been available to pick us up. On and on…

God knows our limit. He’ll only let us be tempted so far and no farther (1 Corinthians 10:13). And will always provide a way out.

3. Did anything good come out of it?
Because of the car, we missed Jenna’s appointment to get her picture taken for the newspaper contest she won. But they easily rescheduled her to Thursday. So instead of Wednesday’s picture—straight from ballet class—hot, sweaty, and not-happy-with-her-hair, she got a fresh shot yesterday morning and was so pleased.

We won’t always see the benefit, and certainly not always quickly, but whether we see it or not, we can trust that the Lord is working behind the scenes to make something good happen (Romans 8:28). And usually in a far deeper way than we’re capable of understanding. 

4. What’s the lesson?
I learned that even car problems (a big YUCK for me) fall under God’s sovereign control. After Jenna and I left Texaco, we only drove a couple more miles before the overheating began again. Where were we now? A car lot with a service department! If you have to get stranded somewhere, that’s a pretty convenient place.

I learned (again) that God’s grace will always be there when I need it, and will always be enough (2 Corinthians 12:9).

5. Was God glorified in any way?
I’m seeing more and more of Jenna’s faith in ways that I know glorifies the Father. She keeps a calm head in these situations and trusts that God has everything under control.

God the Father must be pleased when he hears His child talk about Him so confidently (Psalm 28:6-7). I certainly would be.

* * *

We got Jenna’s car back yesterday, after having the heater hose replaced. So far, so good!

How do you find contentment in a difficult situation?

14 comments:

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

Wow, Lisa! Certainly something I need to remember. Great questions to ask in any difficult circumstance. In fact, I'm going to write them down so I can remember them!

Susanne said...

Love this. We will all face a yucky circumstance at some point. Looking for God's grace in it is so much better that letting it take you under.

Barbara H. said...

An excellent exercise, Lisa. Sometimes in the midst of a situation and its frustration, inconvenience, and concern, it's hard to put it in perspective, but I usually can afterward. I need to be able to remember that God has it all under control even in the midst of it. I know that on one level -- yet still tend to fret.

Melissa said...

I'm so glad that you were able to find the blessings, even in car trouble, and that you and Jenna are safe.

This is a GREAT list of questions! We so often find ourselves trying to squeeze the blessings out of a difficult situation, and this list is a helpful guideline. Thank you!

fruitfulwords said...

Wonderful way to do a post - by adding the Scripture reference to illustrate your blessings out of a hardship.

I had car trouble too and I am adding the scripture to use for my own gratitude list from that hardship. Thanks for the idea.

Karyn said...

A great lesson for us all.

The picture that Jenna recieved first prize for is GORGEOUS! And her attitude toward the whole car thing is enough to make a mother's heart swell with pride and thanksgiving. You and your husband obviously have done a good job as parents.

And BTW....I call my hubby when things go wrong, too....no matter how far away he is.

Dianna said...

Such a wonderful testament to God's grace and faithfulness! So so precious!

ellen b said...

I love how you worked through this experience with the Lord and how you expressed it.
Glad that everything worked out so well!

Brenda said...

Great tips on making the best of a bad situation! So glad things turned out so well.

Laura said...

Wow -- just reading this was a great lesson for me. What a testimony.

So glad you walked through all of that with Him by your side.

Have a great week ahead!

cindy said...

I don't know Lisa, I hear my inner voice answering to, "What's the lesson?"

"Everything happens for a reason." my mother said over and over, I heard this until, well until she passed away. Now I say it, ha

Willow said...

Yes, it could have been worse. And that's a huge blessing. But the best part is that your girl is learning to focus on the blessings in the midst of difficulties.

Willow said...

Yes, it could have been worse. And that's a huge blessing. But the best part is that your girl is learning to focus on the blessings in the midst of difficulties.

Mama Mia said...

What a great perspective! :o) Glad that everything has worked out and the car is running again.

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