Quite honestly, I don’t know where to start. I personally have been dealing with what I call an ongoing barrage of trials steadily taking me deeper and deeper into the “woe is me” pit. I have tried to keep it out of blogdom, but, fear it has slipped in there from time to time. Of course, when I say I, automatically you have to include my wife and children in there, because we are after all a family and what affects one affects us all.
I will try to condense this into a clear and concise post…try being the operative word.
A number of events primarily financial had begun to fall on us and slowly but steadily we were beginning to fall behind on things. Like so many families nowadays, the struggle seems to be taking it’s toll and everyday you hear of more stories that create heartbreak.
This is a story that I want to share not about that heartbreak, but about the people around us and their ability to perform acts of kindness that transform our perspective, not necessarily changing the basis of the struggle but rather changing the heart and vision of the one in the midst of the trial.
My tenant had let me know he was moving out after 4 years and the parting was not due to some trouble or disagreement but rather he was moving into his mom’s house to help care for the place. He did notate there was no oil left in the tank, which was going to be extremely difficult to replace on my budget, and the fact that without the rental income it would be impossible for me to meet the mortgage payment.
Next I receive a shut off notice for electricity, and it isn’t that I didn’t expect it, it just added to the pile. Then a call in the wee hours from a troubled child in trouble with the law. Finally, Saturday, I am driving down the road and my car starts making a weird vibration. I am driving with a client that I serve and both of us exclaim “what was that” as the rear of my car swiveled off to the left suddenly. I was able to maintain control and bring the car to a stop and after a visual inspection I see what appears to be the problem. My driver’s side rear tire has no lug nuts, in fact I can’t even see any threaded studs that the nuts screw on to! Don’t ask me how the tire stayed on the car, because apart from the hand of God it defies explanation. I call a wrecker who stabs me 200.00 dollars to tow the car six miles, which is all the money we had to live on for the next two weeks.
Needless to say I am at the end of my rope and over the course of the next couple of hours, hard pressed not to break out in an all out crying fit,( yes me, a grown man )
NOW the most important part of the story! Sunday morning we get up and head to church like usual and when we arrive I see my pastor whom I am very close to and that was it, we hugged and the tears started wracking through me and I had no idea how I was going to pull it together. He said “John, don’t worry our God is bigger than anything you face and we are going to pray”. So we prayed and the weight of the world started to lift off me. Then we went to worship and at the end he told the congregation that our family was in a difficult place and any that were led to help and pray in whatever manner they deemed appropriate, should do so!
The service ended and my wife and I were inundated with people hugging us, praying for us, sharing encouraging words, and stuffing cash and checks in our pockets and hands. My eyes are tearing up now as I write this at the outpouring of love and support.
I have this sense of humbling again as I realize my worry and concern is a reminder of my weak faith…. But more importantly, My God never gives up on me and uses the body of believers around me to once again pick me up out of the pit, dust off my knees and say go on now John… give it another try.
I have so much to be thankful for… And I am wishing you all a celebration of Thanksgiving!