God always sends us wake-up calls, scenarios that jolt us out of our daily slumber to recognize how precious life is and how none of us know when our time on earth is over.
Last week I was given yet another wake-up call.
I was driving home from a week at the beach with my family and parents. We had a ton of luggage and beach paraphernalia, so all seven of us were jammed into my Toyota Sequoia with no room to spare. We were driving along a two-lane country road through farmlands. The flow of traffic was about 55 miles per hour.
Suddenly, a woman appeared by the side of the road, watching traffic and waiting to cross the road. There was one car coming in the opposite direction and two cars in front of us in close proximity. The woman waited as the car on the other side passed and the two in front of us passed. Then without hesitation or recognition that my Sequoia was hurtling toward her, she ran across the road right in our path.
Tires screeched and hearts froze as we barely – barely – missed her. That in itself was a miracle.
When she reached the other side, she didn’t even look back and walked on as if nothing had happened. Everyone in the car was out of breath and upset. All I could say was, “Thank you, Jesus, thank you, guardian angels!”
And it hit me then…
By all accounts, my SUV should have rolled over due to the speed, force of the stop, and swerving. My father said he couldn’t believe the car didn’t roll. I looked back at my children and just thought: It wasn’t our time. We were protected from a potentially lethal situation because it wasn’t our time. God had different plans.
I often wonder why God allows me, a wretched sinner, to have another glorious day? Why does He continue to shower me with blessings? I believe He allows me to continue on because He wants to use me. He wants me to serve Him. He wants me to serve others.
In my post-divorce years, I would always wonder the same thing: Why do you let me live, God? The pain I feel should kill me! There’s nothing worse and I can barely function!
I always came to the same conclusion then as I did last week. He wants to use me. He wants me to serve Him and others. That which does not kill us makes us stronger.
Matthew 5 tells us:
“You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
God allows our experiences – painful, scary, happy, surprising, shocking – to season us and keep us salty. Coupled with his graces and blessings, we can take these experiences and help others who are distressed in some way. We become the light of the world through our examples of perseverance and hope.
If you’re feeling scared, hopeless, or discouraged because of your divorce or your fear of the unknown, don’t allow these experiences to make you, the salt, become tasteless. Take heart and trust that God is using your circumstances to prepare you for great things. You can use your experiences to help others and give them hope.
When you have some quiet time, reflect on your life as it is today and see how you can turn your struggles and suffering into hope and light for others.
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