Unanswered Calls

“Lord, make me content,” had literally just whirled through my mind as I was making the hour drive to my home church one morning when the dreaded ( ! ) sign appeared on my dash and my car took a hard pull to the right. I pulled to the side of the interstate and surveyed the damage: one very flat and very damaged tire.

But I was working on being content, so it was going to be okay.

After shooting my mom an obligatory “I’m not dead but I’m not going to be in church today” text, I called Danny–my then-boyfriend/now-fiancé, my go-to person, the man who would walk through fire to the ends of the earth for the one’s he loves.

And then I called him again.

And again.

…and again. With no answer.

I had hoped it wouldn’t be, but, honestly, I knew his phone would most likely be on silent at that time on a Sunday morning. Yet it made me so angry that the person I was depending on wasn’t answering when I needed him (and that no one in my family was answering me either…)

I let this anger fuel my stubbornness and, after one brother finally called me back and gave me a few pointers, I reasoned that I could change my own tire–I’ve seen it done plenty of times, how hard could it be? (The answer is “harder than it looks”…physically changing a tire should probably be a requirement of Driver’s Ed…just saying.)

But I was determined and stubborn–so much, in fact, that I purposely ignored Danny when he returned my call.

Things were going great until it came time to jack up my car to take the tire off…several failed attempts that included compressing the plastic undercarriage of my car and bending the jack into an angle under the car that most definitely was going to cause it to come crashing down on me (and the realization that not a single car zipping past me was going to stop and help the young woman struggling to change a tire by herself) forced me to swallow my pride and call Danny. Again.

       

And an hour and a half after I had first pulled over on the side of the interstate, Danny pulled up behind me and had my tire changed in less than ten minutes. (Talk about a blow to my pride).

I had been snippy with him on the phone–still mad that he hadn’t answered the first time I called–but he showed nothing but compassion and understanding towards me, not just accepting my apology, but reassuring me that everything was okay and that he was sorry he hadn’t seen me call earlier.

And, as I **very slowly** drove home, the thought occurred to me that this is exactly what I do with God:

He doesn’t answer the first time I call, so I get all stubborn and self-reliant, convincing myself that “I don’t need His help anyway so there.”

When, in all reality, God has a perfectly good reason for not answering me the first (or second, or fourth) time around.

No, His “phone” probably isn’t on silent, but maybe He’s trying to teach me something (What? God trying to teach me something? No…..) Or maybe what I’m calling about isn’t meant to be in the story He’s writing for my life. I may never know His reasons–but that’s what makes Him God and me a mere mortal.

And maybe He’s actually trying to teach me personal responsibility–not to be confused with self-reliance.

Because you see, self-reliance is taking matters into my own hands. It’s not trusting God and not even attempting to seek His will. Self-reliance leads to self-destruction. But personal responsibility means I trust God and make an effort to seek His

But personal responsibility means I trust God and make an effort to seek His face; then I go out and live accordingly. I am active in my faith, believing that God will bring about the results He desires in His own time while I live a life that glorifies HimPersonal responsibility leads to personal growth.

And, finally, God is never ending in His compassion and understanding. Even when I fail Him constantly. Even when I think I can do things all by myself. Even when I get angry with Him. His love never fails (Psalm 136…and basically the entire Bible).

 

     

And His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). He doesn’t hand us three jars of mercy in the morning and warn us not to use it all up at one time–no, He lovingly hands us a new jar filled to the brim Every. Single. Time. we need it. Whether we need three jars or three thousand. He doesn’t care. He just wants us to understand how He truly feels towards us.

And, friends, if we could truly understand how the God of the Universe feels about us, it would literally blow our minds. We wouldn’t even need His jars full of mercy because we wouldn’t be able to bear the thought of breaking His ever-loving heart.

The things He uses to teach me about Him will never cease to amaze me.

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