Since we’re coming off our snow-day Sunday, you’ll find message material already posted, several posts back. Or, just go right here.
But, I owe you something from last week. At the points when I squeezed out the message post there was a tree sitting on my house. That was kinda stressful, especially since we were preparing to leave town for the break.
Quite a few of you offered help, and we do so appreciate the offers! But, the major takeaway from the ordeal is about how God uses unexpected things that go THUMP.
Certainly, that tree didn’t fit into our plans. In fact, I could have made the argument that a big red pine that takes on too much snow and lowers itself on to my roof—without appreciation for the way I was trying to serve or the family I was trying to visit—isn’t from God at all.
But, I know better. God uses things that go THUMP, especially unexpected things that seem to be in the way of what we think He’s doing. Here’s how it worked, for us:
Right after the THUMP, we called Don Hadden. He’s our insurance agent, but also our friend. Don popped over and made some connections, since this situation outsized us by a good bit. A bit later, our neighbor, Leon, who plows for us, appeared and assessed the situation. Leon knows a lot about trees. Then Tony, Don’s friend, turned up and promised to return with machinery in the morning. Next, we heard that Jim Blomberg was on the way. Jim made a plan to patch the roof, told of us his new ministry, and we prayed together.
The next day Leon appeared again, this time with his son and a just-shot deer on the back of his four-wheeler. (He talked about the tree, but I think he wanted to show me the deer.) Then Tony and his dad arrived with their mini-excavator and other impressive machines. Jim Blomberg returned, this time with Kevin Blomberg.
In a few hours, the tree was gone, the section of roof that had allowed tree branches to enter the upstairs closet had been patched, and we were on our way to the southern part of the state for Thanksgiving.
Now, what just happened here? An unexpected THUMP did alter what we thought we were to be doing. But, hey, the Lord knew we’d be snowed out Sunday. And without an urgent need to prepare for the service (though I didn’t know that!) He created opportunity for—what was it?—eight visits by five different friends and neighbors. And not all of them know the Lord either!
This all makes a great gospel case study in what to think and do when things go THUMP. Listed out, here’s what I’ve seen, once again:
- I’m about as finite, weak and in need of God’s grace as I could be. The tree from the sky reminded me of that, again.
- God has everything in hand. If ” … Christ died for our sins …” (1 Cor 15.3), and He did, then things that go THUMP are well within His control and command.
- Faith in my Redeemer is both a gift of God (Eph 2.8-10) and a spiritual skill to be exercised. My right response to the Gospel will result in the discovery of both gospel truths (God loves both me and my neighbors) and gospel behaviors (I should pause to see what God is doing, each time my plans are interrupted.)
How about you? What’s going THUMP in your life? How do you, now, plan to respond next time you experience the unexpected?
Have a great weekend. If you’re around here, hope to see you this Sunday, at Woodland.