Almost everybody will be impacted by some sort of event that will have the potential to affect the rest of their life...death, terminal illness, war, etc. The reaction to such an event is what really brings to light what we put our faith in. I know one event that had a great impact on my own life. I remember the day of April 23, 2005 very well. It was a pretty quiet Saturday morning...I was having some serious sinus issues and went downstairs at about 8 and spent several hours on the couch watching ESPN as I coughed and snorted (a rather uneventful morning by all accounts...or so I thought). It wasn't until about 1 in the afternoon until I figured out that I had left my phone upstairs and I figured I should get it in case somebody needed to get a hold of me. When I opened it up (old school flip phone), I saw that my mom and my oldest sister had been trying to call me and left me a few messages. I decided to check the messages first...my mom left two messages and sounded pretty incoherent saying something about my Dad. My sister left a pretty vague message saying that I needed to come home. It was at this point that I knew something was wrong. I had moved to Houston, TX for work and they were in Shreveport, LA, which is about a 4-5 hour drive from where I was living....so it wasn't like I needed to come home for some random reason. It was then that I called my mom's house and my sister picked up the phone and told me that my father had a heart attack and was dead.
All of this was quite surreal and I can't really explain what all was going through my head and it took a while for it to actually sink in. I am sure anybody else who has lost a parent can relate to this. Once it did hit me, though, I knew I had to find some comfort from somewhere. I called a girl that I had been close to at the time and cried with her most of the drive home, but it didn't really help much. I talked to family and friends...still nothing really made sense. I was not saved at the time and being raised Catholic didn't really put an emphasis on Bible reading, so I didn't turn there. I did listen to some Christian music with a fairly good emphasis on some things I needed to be thinking about, but it didn't have an immediate effect on me. The lyrics of one spoke of how the singer had a beautiful letdown in learning how the things of this world weren't for him and that he didn't belong here. The other spoke about how his life had changed over 24 hours...I could definitely relate to that. Still, all that did was to tell me that I needed to have a good relationship with God. There is a lot I could expound upon here about God's providence and Romans 8:28, but I'll leave that for another day. Right now, my focus is on the difference between how I reacted to tough circumstances then and how I handle them now.
So, let me ask what should be a simple question...where do we Christians turn whenever we are faced with such trying times? We should be turning to Jesus Christ by reading our Bibles and crying out in prayer. Yes, our family and fellow believers are of great support to us...both in just being there for us to share our sorrow and for turning us to the assurance that is found in Scripture. And any mature Christian who is grounded in Scripture will undoubtedly turn to God during the greatest times of trial.
What about for the small trials, though? Do we turn to God when we encounter a problem at work? What about when we're taking on small projects that require a little thought and planning? Is there anything that is too small for us to take to God? I guess to answer that I would ask another question - Is there any detail small enough that God isn't involved with it? Or is God sovereign over all things? I think we can all agree that God is sovereign over everything or else He isn't God. So then why should we think that anything that we are concerned with is too small to take to Him for His help? I think this is arrogant and prideful on our part, but I mjust confess that I do it all the time. Sometimes, I realize my folly and take time to say a short prayer (especially if I grow frustrated with my own sad attempts) and find that it is quite effective, but I would say that I don't do that nearly enough. Let us all take the time to pray for God's wisdom in handling everything that we encounter during our lives...even if it seems small enough for us to handle.