Today’s message is from Pastor Pam Sutherland of the St. Paul United Methodist Church & Fort Gibson United Methodist Church
I was reminded this morning of something that happened about a year ago. My daughter Lacey was the victim of a hit and run accident on her way home from work. Thankfully she was okay, but naturally shaken and upset. Because of its age, the insurance company totaled her van even though it was still drivable. Not willing to give up her vehicle, and not having the insurance money to fix the damage, they decided to repair it with duct tape and a large “Band Aid” her sister sent her. When she sent the photo of the “repaired” vehicle I got a good chuckle out of seeing that Band Aid across the “boo boo”. Although the Band Aid came off long ago, she is still driving her vehicle with the duct taped fender!
Things happen to all of us that upset and frustrate us. Sometimes they happen as a result of our own actions and sometimes they hit us (literally) without warning. It’s okay to be upset and frustrated. But how you choose to handle the situation overall is what matters. A friend of mine who lost her son to cancer when he was in his twenties once told me that life’s upsets – even the most painful ones – can either make you bitter or make you better.
In James, chapter one we’re told to “Count it all joy… when you meet trials of various kinds”. That’s pretty hard to do isn’t it? I’ve read that passage during times of trials and wanted to yell: “Not feeling the joy here, James!” But James goes on to say that our trials build patience which in turn produces maturity and wholeness. In other words, we aren’t joyful because of the trial itself, but because of what it produces in our lives as we work through the problem and allow God to use it to make us better rather than bitter.
Today I’m thankful that some things can still be fixed with some duct tape, a Band Aid, and a sense of humor. And I’m thankful for a God who helps us grow and mature even – and especially – through our trials.
I pray that you will be “joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12) in whatever trial you encounter today.
Grace and peace,