Devotional - "A Reminder from God"

By Robert Oliver

 

Psalms 32:7-9 says, "You are my hiding place from every storm of life; You even keep me from getting into trouble! You surround me with songs of victory. I will instruct you (says the Lord) and guide you along the best pathway for your life; I will advise you and watch your progress. Don’t be like a senseless horse or mule that has to have a bit in its mouth to keep it in line!"

I don’t know about you, but when God convicts me (once I’ve come to my senses), I always take it pretty hard. Recently, I needed that conviction, and God made sure it came. 

My family and I went to Bangor for a few days on a little mini-vacation. We had a great time relaxing and enjoying time together. This was the best part of our trip!

If I had kept my mind focused on just this, I would have been fine. Sadly, I let myself get distracted. While there, a reminder of a past wrong done to my family resurfaced. Feelings of anger and bitterness started to boil up inside.

I looked at Sherri and said, “I’m so angry. We were hurt so deeply, and went through so much heartache!” I’m sure my jaw and fists were clenched as I said this, and my face was probably red. She smiled at me and said, “Bobby, let it go. Haven’t you forgiven? Give it to God.”

I love my wife and she knows me so well. When she mentions God and forgiveness, she knows that any argument brewing in my mind won’t last long. She knows that as soon as I try to argue with God, I always lose!

So, as I was thinking of this, we started to drive home. I’m sorry to say that at this point, I was still dwelling on it in my heart and wouldn’t let it go. I was thinking to myself, “I know I’m wrong God, but I just don’t know if I can let this go!”

We didn’t make it very far before the vehicle overheated and we were stranded on the side of the highway. That’s not a good place to be, especially with all the kids in the vehicle! “Okay, Lord, you’ve got my attention!”

About an hour later, we were able to get to the garage. Turns out, a little plastic piece on the radiator hose had cracked, causing the vehicle to leak coolant and overheat. It was an expensive fix, but we were glad it didn’t happen in the middle of nowhere on the lonely Route 9! Thank you Lord!

Looking at this whole episode, I realized some things. First, just like my vehicle overheated and couldn’t run, so too did dwelling on past hurts and wrongs cause me to become “overheated.” How could I be a good example to my family while I was dwelling on something I couldn’t go back and change? How could I grow closer to Christ while holding on to unforgiveness and anger?

I also realized that sometimes, as Christians, we need to be “worked on” by the best mechanic, the Holy Spirit. He knows us best, inside and out. He knows exactly what goes wrong with us (anger, selfishness, pride, etc.) and He knows exactly how to fix us (through the ongoing process of sanctification).

It was a painful reminder to receive from God, but it was a necessary one. I’m thankful God has His “interesting and unexpected” ways of catching our attention. So next time something “interesting and unexpected” happens in your life, ask God, “Are you doing some maintenance on me?” He may or may not be…either way, turn it over to Him!