I got out of my car thinking to myself, “I cannot believe this is happening again!”
My dear friend Amy was visiting me in Birmingham. We were out and about, and I received a phone call that needed my attention, so I parked in a space so I could concentrate on the call. The weather was gorgeous, so Amy got out of the car to walk on the sidewalk of the strip mall. After a few minutes, my conversation was over, and I could see Amy walking. I pulled out of my space to meet her, and as I drove down the lane of the parking lot, a van backed out of a parking spot, hitting my car. THUD! I hated that sound!
In a period of two years my car was hit three times. None of those were my fault. None of those were provoked by me. None of those were caused because of some foolish decision I made. All have caused inconvenience to me. In two of the cases, the people caused me grief by not wanting to take responsibility. It became a hassle to fix the damage from what they had done. But I did not say, “I’ll never drive again.” I did not throw my car away. I did not scream and yell at the other drivers, and then go home and scream at people who were not even involved. The bumps did not change my faith, my mission, who I am or who God is.
BUMPS! Do you ever have them? You are trying to just go through life, do the right things, be the right kind of person and a bump, not caused by you, hits your life. At times it might be bump after bump after bump. The reality is bumps will hit every life even if we are Christians, Spirit-filled, anointed, and serving faithfully. The question is, “Will the wreck that we did not anticipate wreck our faith?”
I have watched so many over the years quit because a bump hit their lives, and at times the bump was more like a full-blown crash. My mind quickly goes down a list. I think of the person who is completely out of church and has become disillusioned because God did not answer her prayers to allow a family member to live. Another, who was wounded by the Church, and no longer serves God, comes to my memory.
Dear friends, it is always too soon to quit. Always! God is with us through the bumps and through the times we are on cruise control. That is what faith is all about. I accepted, by faith, His invitation to be His child. As a result, He is walking every step of my life with me. He will bring me through every bump.
How did the early Church handle being beaten, threatened, chased, shipwrecked and all manner of persecution? The following scripture from 2 Corinthians 4 answers that clearly … “So, we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.” Those Christians had an eternal perspective. I pray that in the challenging times in which we live, just like the disciples in Bible days, we can proclaim and LIVE these verses.
Bumps will come but they should not wreck our faith. I am giving you a challenge to write these verses down and put them where you can pull them out every time a bump comes. When you hear a THUD, let the THUD hear you loud and clear:
“We have this treasure from God, but we are like clay jars that hold the treasure. This shows that the great power is from God, not from us. We have troubles all around us, but we are not defeated. We do not know what to do, but we do not give up the hope of living. We are persecuted, but God does not leave us. We are hurt sometimes, but we are not destroyed… So, we do not give up. Our physical body is becoming older and weaker, but our spirit inside us is made new every day. We have small troubles for a while now, but they are helping us gain an eternal glory that is much greater than the troubles. We set our eyes not on what we see but on what we cannot see. What we see will last only a short time, but what we cannot see will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-9, 16-19