On Monday, February 25th, I got in a car accident.
Sparing you all the [not so] gory details, I walked away with chemical burns and a bruised nose, so I’d say it was a massive blessing!
Just the day before, on February 24th, our pastor Nick LoSchiavo taught on the book of Luke, particularly verses 39-56. He spoke about the natural human response when we get the good news that someone in our circle has been blessed by the Lord. And what is, often times, our response? Words filled with jealously, self-centeredness, and frustration.
Lately I have been noticing that when I hear another one of my friends got a new car, got pregnant, was able to go travel the world, or simply get a lot of likes on their Instagram post, a frown almost immediately spreads across my face. I ask myself, why am I not receiving these blessings? I’ve worked so hard, I feel like I deserve it!
Don’t we all find ourselves there time and time again? Looking at Elizabeth’s response to Mary’s pregnancy, we see her laying her sinful nature down and reacting with complete humility:
“But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”Luke 1:43-45 (NIV)
She recognizes that not only is Mary pregnant with Jesus, Mary’s blessing is also much greater than her own.
Whenever I read this passage, I admire Elizabeth’s heart and joy for her relative. I know myself well enough to believe I would’ve actually thought, after waiting so long, why couldn’t I finally live in the spotlight? Why does someone else have to come along and steal it away again?
The moral of the story is this: when I got in my accident, one of the first things racing through my mind was the fact that I was actually okay. I didn’t have a bloody nose, I didn’t break any bones, and I didn’t have an obvious concussion. My car was smoking, fluid was leaking everywhere, and my airbags had deployed. As soon as I got out of the car and talked to the other driver, that’s when it all hit me. His car looked completely destroyed. The entire front was smashed up to the windshield.
When we finally made it home, I discovered not only our furnace wasn’t working, but Joe also informed me he had been contaminated by a dirty needle at work and was in the process of being tested for Hepatitis and other diseases. And yet, in the midst of it all, a still small voice continued to remind me that we serve a God who doesn’t shutter or get surprised at anything.
As I look back on this week’s events, I am shocked at how much peace has been granted to me. I am still dealing with the soreness of the accident and the burns on my hands. We are still waiting to hear a final confirmation that Joe is completely disease-free.
So, while I’m waiting, I will still continue to praise Him. It may not be the perfect “thank you”, but I’m finally starting to understand what it means to be thankful.