When you want to trade in a blessing
The anticipation had been building for almost a month as I tried to patiently wait for the “new” car I was being blessed with.
Friday was finally the day that I was to meet my new car and as I pulled around and took the first look at it my heart dropped as I read the bumper stickers that were plastered on the back. The “BUZZO” sticker stood out like a sore thumb and though I didn’t know who this Buzzo guy was I could feel the weight of it all crashing down on my shoulders.
My mom tried to make light of the situation as we moved the young college kids stuff from the car that would now be called mine to the beautiful Impala I was saying good-bye to after driving it for a couple of days until he could meet up with us.
As I got into the driver’s seat of my new car I could feel the sour taste of reality coming up in my throat and I thought I might be sick. I looked to my mom with a petrified look on my face and said I didn’t want to touch the steering wheel. What was supposed to be a gold color when it came off of the showroom floor in 2002, was now black with leftover grime from a college student who clearly had never washed his hands a day in his life.
With a smile my steady mom said “this is a college area so there must be a dollar store close by, let’s go get some antibacterial wipes and get her cleaned up.” Her calm demeanor was keeping my passionately over the top personality in check for the moment.
I wish we had taken before pictures…
Most people I know wouldn’t have set foot in the car let alone wanted to call it theirs!
And while all of this was transpiring I could feel my ungratefulness and ugliness shine through,
I could feel it starting to steal my blessing,
I could feel the anger rise as I silently yelled to God…
I trusted you
And once again I got the raw end of the deal!
Our human nature leans to, yearns for beauty.
For a blessing that is pretty, new and well taken care of.
So what happens when the blessing that we think we wanted is less than what we get?
The past three days I have spent warring with myself and the emotions that this event brought out in me.
As I drove home in silence last night..
(due to the stereo’s non-existent ability to producing music even with the duct tape holding it in to place)
I carried on a dialog with God that looked something like this..
This may not be pretty to most, could be considered rude by others to talk to God this way… but here is the honest truth of my struggle and talk with God.
God, I trusted you to provide for and bless me above all that I could ask or imagine,
and this is what you give me?
Is this a joke?
What sort of lesson is this?
Why in my life do I always seem to strive to trust you to show the world that you are a
good God and will provide for me only to have them laugh at your provision?
Why is it that others get brand new cars given to them, others who believe in the
prosperity gospel seem to get the best blessings but don’t even see the value of those
blessings yet I am yearning to trust your promises,
to hold your hand through these trials
in life and I get this car!?
And as my rantings calmed and I took the time to listen…
His still small voice said to me…
I did bless you.
No it was not what you thought it would be.
It’s not a shiny new or even taken care of car but I want you to see the value in this!
Will you trust me?
My little girl mind cried out, how?
How do I trust you and what am I supposed to learn?
He calmly held me in His arms and said my child, this car runs unlike the last car that people you trusted tried getting you to buy for 4 times the price. And this car is 20 years newer too dear one.
The other thing He pointed out to me was how He wanted my ministry and business to be taking things that are ugly, used, abused or mistreated and make them of value. Yet, He asked, how can you truly have eyes for that if you can’t even see the value in my most important blessing of transportation.
He reminded me of the story of the faithful servant in Matthew 25. He asked if I was willing to be faithful with just a little or whether I was going to let my natural tendency to continue to use and abuse that which had not been cared for in a good way. Was I willing to clean up “Goldie”, to peel off the crazy bumper stickers, show her some love, TLC and be proud to have transportation or was I going to continue to be ungrateful and angry?
He also reminded me of the verses in Philippians 4 about learning to be content. Am I willing to be in this state where He is the only thing of real value that I have and find contentment in that?
Am I willing to learn to be content with little?
Another sweet truth He wanted me to learn if I would listen, is that if I am really wanting others to love me through my brokenness, mess and weaknesses then I truly need to learn to love others when they are at their worst. Yet if I can’t even learn to value a thing that is messy, in need of care and TLC then how was I ever going to learn to see these things in people that God brings into my life and offer that love, acceptance and grace?
I say that I want to minister to those who have been through the same heart ache, pain and background that I have yet how quickly I steer clear from someone who is needy because I feel that I am to emotionally drained to offer anything at this time. How quickly do I seek friendships right now that will help me during this season instead of laying my grief down and helping someone through their grief. Its our human nature to gravitate and want to connect with people who can offer something to us in return, but how often do I seek out friendships where the person has nothing to offer me in return and how often am I ok with that?
I said about 6 months ago that I wanted to learn the true meaning of what love is, God reminded me that if I am wanting to truly learn this then I will have to go through the training ground to learn this.
That is not learning the hard way but that its learning God’s way.
Its being willing to truly live out that love does not insist on its own way but rejoices in the truth!
How quickly did I want to stomp my feet in a tantrum with God and say that this was not what I asked for.
How many times have you heard people say, “Never pray for patience! God will give you instances in your life where you cultivate and learn patience!”
We should be wanting to learn things God’s way.
We shouldn’t look at hard times as though we did something wrong, didn’t pray hard enough or trust God enough for the right thing. If that were the case then it would be based on what we can do the best instead of what God has already done for us on the cross.
Its learning that His blessings come in some of the craziest ways…
Even a BUZZO bumper sticker, non-working radio car that is less than perfect!
And being willing to be content and thankful in the unexpected or less than perfect.