2 Corinthians 11:27 – I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm. (NLT)
With a sigh, my wife called to tell me that the garbage disposal unit under our kitchen sink had broken. This was just the beginning.
For four years, we've rented our patio townhouse. Not long after moving here, we noticed various types of repair trucks were regular visitors in our neighbourhood. Our trouble had been minimal … until the garbage disposal stopped working.
Knowing very little about garbage disposals, I pushed the reset button to see if it would restart. No luck. The next day, my wife called to let me know that all the water had not drained from the dishwasher. I took a look. Good reason. The dishwasher drains through the garbage disposal. The next morning, I heard gurgling in the commodes when the washing machine reached the spin cycle. When I returned home for lunch, my wife informed me that the microwave had broken.
I've experienced "one thing after another" episodes before, but these breakdowns came too close together. And I almost forgot. These breakdowns were preceded by the news that our landlady was planning to sell our unit. We would have to move.
Compared to Paul's one-thing-after-another list in today's verse, mine seemed tame — but aggravating nonetheless. Any season of endless disappointments or trials always is. When Paul stopped persecuting the church and started promoting it, things heated up. Most of the heat came from his own people, who didn't believe what he was preaching about Jesus.
Sin not only affects people, but it also affects things, causing breakdowns or wearouts. God allows the one-thing-after-another episodes in our lives, but knowing that doesn't make them any easier to endure, unless I remember that He's also in control. My response is paramount. I can become angry, disillusioned, and despondent, or I can take each hit with the same attitude that Paul did: "I have learned how to be content with whatever I have" (Philippians 4:11b NLT). Regardless of the circumstances, he rejoiced in the Lord always.
I haven't mastered Paul's attitude completely, but I'm closer now than I have been in the past. Knowing how to respond properly when the one-thing-after-another episodes hit is a work in progress … but one that God will help me to learn if I ask.
When one thing after another hits your life, trust God for the wisdom to carry on with a good attitude.
Prayer: Father, You are our guiding light. We will trust You regardless of our circumstances. Amen.
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