As parents of a 16 year old, we are in the midst of driver’s training at our house. Our son is doing really well. We hope he will have his license in the next month or two. We have given him my husband, Greg’s, 1997 Honda to drive. So far this school year, I let him drive on the way to school so he can try to reach his mandatory 40 hours of supervised driver’s training. Then I drive home or to work from there.
Recently, I drove the Honda to work and everything was fine that morning. But when I was ready to leave the pharmacy at 6:00pm, the engine wouldn’t start.
That is life sometimes, isn’t it?
An unexpected trial comes out of nowhere. How will I handle it?
Seems like this has been a theme in our family this summer. And we continue to come back to this:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4
So here is a new real-life example. God is so good to provide me with opportunities to grow in my faith and to live out the principles of His Word. Then I get to share them with y’all!
I texted Greg to let him know that I was stranded and that I thought maybe the battery could be dead. He was about 30 minutes away and had just dropped off our kids at church. But the second he found out that I was stuck, he was on his way to help. He had a battery charger and tried multiple times to jump the Honda’s battery.
So our night looked like this:
- Greg then drove me to our house so I could eat a very quick supper.
- He took some tools with him and went by the Advance Auto Parts store and got a new battery.
- I picked up the kids from church in my car and took them by our house.
- Greg replaced the battery on the Honda and still the car wouldn’t crank.
- He found a YouTube video about what to do if the starter goes bad and he hit the starter with a hammer 3 times and got the engine running – and was surprised that actually worked.
- He drove the Honda to our friend’s car shop.
- I met him at the car shop and we drove to my work so Greg could get his car.
- We both got home around 9:00pm.
Years ago, I would have had a pretty negative, complaining attitude about the whole ordeal. I would have lashed out at my husband – as if he were the problem. I probably would not have shown much gratitude. I would have been exasperated and felt like the night was completely ruined because things didn’t go as I had expected.
But these days, I have a different mindset – thanks to the changes God has been doing in my heart.
SOME THINGS I DON’T WANT TO DO ANYMORE
- pressure, push, or try to control him.
- freak out.
- have a critical spirit.
- lash out at him.
- raise my voice.
- have a negative attitude toward him or toward the situation.
SOME THINGS I WANT TO DO NOW
- ask for things respectfully.
- smile at him.
- be flexible.
- thank him with words and actions.
- use a friendly tone of voice.
- appreciate him in my heart and thoughts.
- seek to be humble.
- speak up respectfully if I think I may have important information to share.
- pray and invite God to do something beautiful and powerful in the situation.
- look for blessings and good things about which I can be thankful.
- give him the time and space he needs to think and problem-solve.
- seek to be cooperative.
- maintain a positive spirit and attitude – by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- sing songs of praise to God in my heart.
- call Greg, “my hero!”
I respect Greg’s abilities and the gift of his time and that I can depend on him when I am in dire straits. He is glad to come help me. I make sure to tell him and show him how much I appreciate all of his help.
How blessed I am to have someone in my life who is willing and able to help me when I am in a bind.
These days, I have a different perspective on trials. I can, in the power of Christ, remain calm and completely peaceful. Cheerful and joyful even. I can graciously receive Greg’s help and appreciate the things he can do so well that I am not very good at. I can be patient. I can maintain my sense of humor and fun.
If the Holy Spirit is in control of my life, God promises to give me His power to respond with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23) even when things go wrong.
The night doesn’t have to be ruined!
We can enjoy being together and be thankful that we are a team and that we have each other to call on when something goes wrong. A night like this can be something that helps to strengthen our bond and bring us greater unity. It can be a beautiful, powerful example to our children of how parents can work together with respect and love. It is a chance to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit to our children in a time that could have been stressful.
The way we choose to handle a trial like this could even become a wonderful memory for the whole family.
If God has empowered you to respond with joy, peace, patience, and a good attitude during a trial in your life, we’d love to hear about it. I’m sure it would be such an encouragement to everyone.
Please do keep in mind that you may have different things to be thankful for in your life. That is okay! All of our husbands don’t have the same talents, abilities, personalities, and gifts. All of our relationships are different – and that is good. We are at different points in our journey, too.
But we each have things for which we can be thankful. And God has good plans for us all – to make beautiful masterpieces of our lives. He is working in all of us, who belong to Him, to be conformed into the image of Jesus Christ!