A peaceful stop on the Interstate in the beautiful State of Michigan gave me a minute to reflect on my situation and the nice Policeman sitting in his patrol car behind me. Granted I did not want to be sitting in my car waiting for the piece of white paper that would be my special made – personalized souvenir, but I had been driving just a bit over the speed limit – and laws broken carry a penalty.
No one enjoys receiving a speeding ticket, nor does anyone enjoy going through a difficult trial or problem. We would prefer to live a life of comfort and ease, with little or no struggles or issues. We would like to go about our daily routine doing as we please – but things happen. We do not live in a perfect world and we are not always innocent pilgrims passing though. Bad things happen and even when they don’t – we may be guilty of breaking the rules or guidelines which have been set by society.
What I need to remind myself of is that in the midst of difficult situations – I can learn. Regardless of whether the difficulty is self-inflicted or a result of living in an imperfect world with sickness, evil and tragedy – I can learn. Romans 5:3-5 states, “we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Trials come, sickness happens, tickets are issued – bad happens – but I can learn. I can learn that God will be with me through it all and love me in the midst of it. Even through I broke a law and received a speeding ticket, my God still loves me. He may have been a bit disappointed or even frustrated with me – but He loves me. He also is continuing to teach me, especially as I had to pay the ticket of $105 to the State of Michigan.
Often we are guilty of becoming angry, negative and down right mad at God when trials and struggles come our way. Some of us may turn our back to God and rejected Him. We may shout out words we are a shame to repeat or we may throw something across the room or hit something in some way – all because we hurt and hate the issue we are facing, but we can learn. We can grow and stretch. We can become more of what He wants us to be.
It is not easy, never was and never will be. It is not fun or exciting and may even feel unjust or unfair, but we can learn. We may need to ask ourselves if the difficulty or situation is bigger than our God and remind ourselves that nothing is bigger or greater than God and He will love us in it and through it all.
As I sat on the side of the road in Michigan – I reflected. At first I was mad at myself, than I thought – maybe this happened to me for a reason. Maybe I need to slow down. Maybe I needed to spend a few minutes on the roadside. Maybe I needed to simply say “Thank You” to the Policeman for his service and wish him well (which I did) even after receiving a ticket.
God is still teaching me and you – the question is – will I learn?
Gene Vincent is the Pastor of Beechland Baptist Church: 351 Beechland Road, Lewisburg, KY 42256