Thankful Thursday: A notch in the belt

It is fun when you get to see God’s hand working in a mighty way…ahead of time.  It is fun when you can see Him going before you and protecting you from what could have been.  I don’t think He let’s us see much of the future for our own protection.  I think it would be more than we could handle with our knowledge and maturity of today.  He’s good at protecting us from what He hasn’t brought us to yet.

But, yesterday He did show us a little glimpse of His protection.  He did go before us and protect us from uncertain calamity.  Who knows what it would have looked like?  He knows and didn’t want us to have to deal with whatever THAT would have been.  Justin recently told me that he believes God is going before us holding up a big shield for our protection.  I believe him when he says that.  It is new for him to say things like that.  I’m sure he has always believed that, but he now verbalizes what has been in his heart about these things and it makes me smile.  It makes me feel safe knowing my fella is following God.  It makes me feel safe knowing my fella is listening to the Maker of the Universe.

Justin was getting the van ready for our upcoming trip.  We will be driving cross-country in the summer heat.  He had already done the usual checks and maintenance.  He had checked the oil and had a couple of tires replaced.  He decided to check the belts and hoses just to be sure everything was in order.  There it was, a chunk out of the serpentine belt which apparently controls a few important things like the power steering, the alternator, the air conditioner and ALL the cars accessories.  Uh, a few of those things don’t exactly sound like accessories to me.  When he took it in to buy the new part, the guy behind the counter told him it wouldn’t have lasted long in that condition.  Nice!  On a side note, I do know what happens when a belt breaks and you are on the highway…you get to have your vehicle towed and parts of the engine get all bent up…nevermind how I know that.  I’m sure my dad would be glad to tell you his version.  Thankfully he does not have a blog or a FB.  😉

So, why am I giving God the credit for this find?  Uh, hello, who else is watching over me and my family?  Who else knew that belt was faulty?  Who else do we pray to for protection for our family?  Who else could have had that part of the belt in just the right location so that Justin would easily see it when he was looking at the engine?  I saw the belt myself.  I saw where it wraps around.  That notch had to be in just the right place for Justin to have even seen it.  That is no coincidence!!

And since my mind already went there for you…why didn’t God stop that other belt from breaking on me on the highway?  Well, there were warning signs about that belt that I ignored.  Sometimes you gotta be listening and paying attention and obeying…

A bit argumentative

“The apple doesn’t fall to far from the tree”

“She’s a chip off the old block”

“Like mother like daughter”

“She is her parent’s daughter”

“She could argue with a fence post”

Do any of those sound the least bit familiar to you?  Do any of those make you go, UGH?  Do any of them sound true?

We have a bit of an arguing problem going on in my house at the moment.  I suppose anyone with tween/teenagers under their roof could say that.  Maybe anyone with a human being under their roof could say that.  And, yes, I’m talking about THEM, but I’m really talking about ME right now.  I tell the girls all the time, “It takes two to argue.”  Well…..  I should know…. I’m pretty darned good at it myself!

As it turns out God is trying to get my attention about this subject.  Within 2 days He has shown me an example of two very important people in my spiritual life who engage in arguing with Him over matters in their lives.  These are people He has placed in my life during a season of growing in Him and learning to recognize His voice.  These are people who I KNOW walk with Him and discuss every move in their spiritual walks with Him.  I don’t know for sure why He thought it was important in these past few days for me to know that about them.  I already did know that, but I don’t know why He decided to highlight it the way He did. 

Well, maybe I do know.  Maybe it is because I’ve been engaged in my own brand of arguing with Him about a matter for a good long while now.  I may think it isn’t arguing.  I may even argue that I’m not arguing.  Hey!  I know what that looks like.  I’ve argued with more than one of my daughters about whether or not they were arguing.  :/ 

So what does arguing with God look like in my world?  If it takes two to argue, does God argue?  Well, if He is trying to get me to listen, if He loves me and knows what is best for me, I think He does.  I think He just does it in a much more efficient way that looks absolutely nothing like how I argue with my kids in a moment of sheer frustration and powerlessness.  His “arguing” back with me is about loving persistence.  He loves me.  He knows what is best for me.  He knows what is around the corner that I can’t see or refuse to see.  He doesn’t stop until I bend, or break, to His will for my life because He knows best even when I don’t.  He knows there is more to my walk with Him than meets the eye and He knows how I can get it.  He knows where I can get it.  He knows whether or not what I am doing will get me there.

I’ve been in a circle with Him on a subject long enough that I know He must be growing weary of arguing with me about it.  I know He must be shaking His head at me.  I know He must want to lash out impatiently at me.  Thankfully He hasn’t done that, YET.  Thankfully He just keeps taking me back to the same place.  Thankfully He is more persistent than I am.  This thing I’m arguing with Him about must be awfully important to Him.  It must make a huge difference in my walk with Him.  The implications of me following Him into it, or not, must be huge or He would have given up a long time ago.  He would have allowed me to find peace in my own way.  He would have allowed me to be content within my own arguments.

Uh, He is bigger than me.  He sees more than I can see.  He knows more than I can know.  He loves me more than I love myself.  He loves my peeps more than I love them.  He’s got it ALL under control.

Maybe it’s time for me to just submit to Him and stop arguing about this thing.