Monday, June 22, 2009

Traumas and Temptations

Why did I ever decide to study Colossians as my OMAP (read that blog series here) this summer? I don't think it was a mistake. I think it was divine.

Last week was a rough week at the Sanders' house; I wasn't surprised, because Jeff was away at a conference, and that usually spells "LEARNING OPPORTUNITY" for Julie & kids. :) When the tv was pronounced "defunct" (read that blog here) I thought I'd gotten the "unexpected event" behind me ... until Thursday, the day Jeff was to come home.

JoHanna and I went our for some mom/daughter delight time, stopping at a whimsical store and heading to our favorite Indian restaurant for curry and conversation. It was a great way to enjoy my growing up daughter ... until we stepped outside and saw an angry sky the color of a nasty bruise. We hopped in the car to head home, driving in as the skies opened up. The story is too long for blogging, but I'll say I know what the Egyptian soldiers must've felt like when they saw the wall of water closing in on them. I cried out to God to save me from the lightning, as I stood (don't do this at home girls) in the water trying to make it mind. They kids kept trying to come help, and I kept yelling (over the rain, of courses) to get inside. I was overcome by the waters and knew I was beaten as the garage filled, only to pour through the AC piping into the basement and onto the carpet. I tried what I could in my panicked state (even making a giant sponge out of an old couch), to no avail. God sent a neighbor couple to my rescue, and their sympathy was welcome, if not enough to stop the waters. Usually, I'm very calm and intelligent in a crisis. Thursday wasn't one of my hall of fame moments.

As I fought the whitewater, Jo used the cell phone to call for help ... first for prayer to my Virginia family, then to Jeff, still on the road about 30 minutes from home (and sick). Once Jeff arrived home to the mess, the sky cleared, the sun came out, and the panic passed, leaving a mess. For a variety of reasons, we knew insurance wouldn't cover this. One idea was offered, a way we could claim the damage. Our neighbors tried to encourage me that surely we could find a "loop hole," a way to make someone else pay. It was tempting. So tempting. As the clean up crew came and began the work and gave us an estimate, it was really tempting. We had just been given a gift, and I didn't want to spend it on carpet anti-fungal spray and water extraction. Who can wear that? Groundwater gray is NOT my color.

As I've studied Colossians this summer, the Lord reminded me why we could not take a "loop hole," even if it co$ts us.

Colossians 2:8-10 warns us not to be cheated or deceived by the empty ideas of men, "according to the basic principles of the world," instead of according to Christ.

How can we resist, though, when our stuff is floating around the garage, or our basement looks like a car wash, or our lives are visited by the unexpected and uncontrolled crises of life? God tells us the "fullness of the Godhead" dwells in Christ, making Him fully God; I am "complete in Him who is the head of all principality and power." Earlier in the book, we are challenged that to be persuaded by the world's ways will lead to doubting Who Jesus is, doubting that He is able to fully reconcile/restore me in my relationship to God. That would make us doubt His sufficiency to be our Shepherd, our Help in times of trouble. Paul challenged the believers to be faithful in their living, even when he was absent, even when Christ is unseen. Even if it co$ts us.

My sister Jenny exhorted me (when I was bemoaning the soggy use of dollars) that our money is God's money, and if God chooses to use a chunk of it to "buy proof of our integrity," then it's His choice and money well spent. Living out the principles of Christ instead of the principles of the world shows the world that God is Who He says He is. It isn't always easy, because the pressure can be great. It can feel like the force of that water rushing against me on Thursday afternoon. The "flood waters" of life can take many different forms in our lives, and I'm not sure what yours may be today. Whatever rushes over us, though, our faithfulness glorifies HIM as we do what Paul challenged those believers in Colosse:
"As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him," Colossians 2:6 And I think you could also say, "so swim." :)

3 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Kristi said...

Wow - you weren't kidding that you've had an eventful week!!!

What a powerful lesson for your kids to see, too, as you "swim" after Christ and live with integrity!

We've had that happen before where we had some unexpected money show up, but God's plans were to provide for a need we didn't expect, rather than us having the "fun money" that we thought it was. :)

Marge said...

Wow, I'm sorry to hear this, Julie. I knew you had had water problems before, but I thought they were resolved. What a blessing that the Lord had already provided the funds to pay for the cleanup.

Julie said...

Yes, it IS a blessing. Last time was a water heater; this time was the monster storm. :) The county came out today to survey the road, and PTL that they are being very responsive and helpful. So thankful for that.