May 8, 2014

Joy and Thankfulness in Adversity

There is an old joke: A man was stranded on a deserted island and he built himself a hut.  He was there for a while and then one bright sunny day a bolt of lightning came out of the sky, hit his hut and burnt it to the ground.  While he was shaking his fists at the heavens a ship pulled up and the captain said “ we were passing and saw your smoke”, and so he was rescued.

Two years ago I purchased a car. We did a test drive and it was perfect.  No sooner had I spent the princely sum of $250,000, transferred the car and put on the registration plates, the trouble began.  The battery was dead and the car would not start.  We got a jump start and was off and running.  It was driving well, or so I thought – “ Oh, it just needs a new battery – no problem”.  When we got to Bog Walk Gorge we had to stop because a truck had broken down.  When we tried to move again, the car would not go into gear.  Suffice it to say we had to tow it to the mechanic.  Let’s just say that previous owner – if he is not serving God already – needs to do so – if only out of thanksgiving because that car would have surely killed him had God not been protecting him.  The damaged gear shift cable caused us to examine the car thoroughly.  The clutch and pressure plate were not damaged – they were decimated!  In addition we found a myriad of problems including faulty wiring such as raw and live electrical wires near the gas tank and generally all over the car.  I had to spend another small fortune to repair the car.

By right I should be feeling cheated and angry, so why am I calm and thankful?  I realize that what I could look as this misfortune as God’s way of protecting me from mishaps on the road.  I am thankful that all these problems were found out now – when I had the means to take care of the problems and purchase the parts needed.

I am thankful for not driving in some remote part of the country at night only to have the car break down on me far from help.  And lastly but not least, when I was searching for a car, I prayed and asked God for a good car that I can afford (Psalm 34 v 4 “ I sought the Lord and he answered me….” And verse 10 says “Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing”).  This is what He led me to and He does not make mistakes because His way is perfect.

James 1 v 2-6:

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is a like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”

Like the man on the deserted island, I could have been shaking my fist at the heavens, but why should I?  I serve a Living God.  One who can see way ahead into the future, sees my need and has the power to fulfill it as long as it is in line with His will.  As it says in James, I must maintain a joyful spirit even in trials, for how else will I be “mature and complete”.  That man on the deserted island could not see the ship passing over the horizon or he would have hurriedly built a fire, so God built one for him, knowing he would not be needing the hut anymore.  Furthermore, any fire he could have built would not have been enough since the ship was over the horizon, and obviously he would not have had the faith to burn his hut.

A situation you have become comfortable with does not necessarily mean it is the best for you.  So suddenly out of the blue, something you prize or has become comfortable with has been snatched from you.  Don’t worry, God is just building a fire so that the ship passing over the horizon can see your smoke and come to your rescue.  Be thankful.

Sylvia M Dallas

Poet, Author, Photographer and Teacher of the Word and CEO and Director of Creator Services at The Publisher's Notebook Limited based in Jamaica. She is married to Rohan Dallas, is a proud grandmother, loves coffee (Jamaican, of course), loves great tasting and healthy food, love to cook and is an unabashed follower of Jesus Christ.  Her books AND THE PRISONERS HEARD THEM, THE RIGHT KIND OF INTIMACY and THE BED DEFILED are available on Amazon.

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