Winner or Whiner

Little girl crying

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” – Romans 8:28

It seems like when things go wrong they go wrong big time…and in succession!  Just last week, a series of mishaps seem to have been the norm for me and my family. It all started with our 10-year-old van.  (The age of the vehicle may explain a lot, but I digress!)  Last Saturday, I had to run to an early morning church activity, and the van wouldn’t start no matter how hard or how many times I tried.  Just goes to show you how little I know about cars.  It doesn’t matter how vigorous my car key action is – it wouldn’t matter if the battery is dead!  I hopped quickly into our other car to get to the church event on time and asked my wife to call the auto club to get it looked at while I was away.  Sure enough, the gentleman who looked at it concluded that the battery was the culprit.  He boosted it and it was working again.  I tried it when I got home, and the van wouldn’t start again.  My brother and I just simply went out and got a replacement battery.

Then I noticed that there were some noticeable water stains on a wall down in our basement.  I traced it back to the kitchen right below where the sink is.  We have a leaky sink!  My ever-handy and ever-ready brother came by to see what the problem was and was a tremendous help in getting it fixed.  This morning, though, the leaking appeared again.  I’d hate to think my brother didn’t get the job done…hmm…all because I didn’t want to come to the conclusion that there’s a bigger repair that we need to get done.  Up to this hour, there is no clear verdict – except for the fact that we have to stop the leaking and get it fixed!  Yikes!

Then our two girls and my wife came down with an illness – nothing serious but enough to affect their daily routines.  My girls were missing a couple of days of school with my wife still having to attend to all her regular duties in a not-so-healthy condition.  And this morning my access pass at work stopped working for some reason!  I found out that I have to go through this bureaucratic process to get it re-instated.  Don’t know how long that’s going to take.  Poor me!  Poor us!

And just when you think it’s all done and over with, new events start to unfold that test your patience and resolve.  But while I was feeling sorry for myself, I came across these local news headlines: “Four dead, including three children, after Vaughan collision” and “Alta. town searches for answers after man charged with killing girl, father”.  Do we want to add our failing economy in this mix?  Maybe not.  These headlines were enough to, not just cause a tear, but tear a person apart.

How do you explain such horrific tragedies?  How does one overcome them?  All difficult questions to ask, but for my part I can only go back to what I’ve experienced as of late.  My mishaps are simply that – disturbances and disruptions that can be resolved.  Taking our smaller car that day to our church event turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  Traffic and road conditions going to my destination was terrible.  Driving a smaller car made it easier to maneuver and weave in and out of the congestion and construction.  Getting the van’s battery replaced was great because I have a long road trip scheduled this weekend to take our youth leaders on a much-needed retreat.  I just imagined if the van broke down while on this road trip… And the water stains on the wall are simply a sign that a problem in our plumbing needs to be fixed so that it doesn’t cause more troubles down the road.

It seems like when things go wrong, it’s easy to dismiss the events as unfortunate.  But I’d like to believe that they are blessings in disguise – doorways that open so that further blessings can be ushered into our lives.  Dearest child of God, it’s all up to you to perceive yourself as a victim of circumstances or a victor of choices you make with respect to your relationship in Jesus Christ.

Tragedies (or even triumphs) no longer have to simply be happenstance, but rather divine appointments…

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