Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 ESV
Early Monday morning, I had a flat tire on my way to the gym. As inconvenient as that was, I appreciated the experience because it allowed me to teach many life lessons to my son. Indeed, what was seemingly a burden turned out to be a blessing.
The first lesson I thought my son was that most troubles and difficulties are often unexpected. Therefore, we should not lose our composure when things do not work out as planned. When the tire blew out, I simply found a safe place to stop the car so that I can change the tire.
The second lesson was to avoid adding a mistake on top of a challenging experience. I did not stop in the middle of a four-way road to change the tire. That could have been a fatal decision for him and me. Instead, I turned into a tranquil street so I can change the tire. I did so to protect ourselves and other drivers that could have hit our car.
Many people worsen their difficult situations by trying to cover up their mistake with another mistake. Or they try to fix a problem with a failing solution. When things are not working out as expected, we have to pause to think, pray for a way out, and proceed with caution. I call that the triple P principle (PPP).
The third less was not to lose his composure and panic when things go wrong. Instead, he has to learn to adjust. My son did not know how to change a tire. He never had to learn that skill. Thus, he would not know what to do if he had a flat tire while driving. That experience allowed him to have hands-on training about changing a tire.
Many things we go through are intended to teach us valuable lessons that will prepare us for more painful experiences. That is why we should count it all joy when we meet trials of various kinds. It is through our trials we polish our testimonies. Indeed, those who have been through hardships are not easily distressed when the storms of life roll into their lives.
Through that experience, my son was able to learn the location of the spare time, how to jack up a car to change a tire, and the precautions he has to take while changing the tire. I told him there are times when one cannot depend on roadside assistance from a company. He needs to learn the basics of changing a tire just in case.
In the same way, there are times in life when we cannot depend on anyone else but God. We need to learn the survival skills necessary so we can stand through the storms of life as we wait for the deliverance of the Lord. Faith and prayer are some of the spiritual tools that can help us endure various kinds of trials.
After I fixed the tire, I headed back home instead of going to the gym as planned. I told my son, perhaps the reason the tire blew out is that God did not want us to go to the gym at all. Just maybe, something worse was going to happen at the gym that morning.
Sometimes, God inconveniences us so he can save us. That inconvenience could be an unexpected illness, or the loss of a job, or forced relocation, or the loss of a lucrative business deal. In the end, God knows he can always heal us or give us a better job, or relocate us to a place with more opportunities, or make our businesses more prosperous. What we may perceive as a burden can very well be the genesis of a blessing that can far exceed our expectations.
Prayer- Father, please give us the courage to rejoice when we meet trials of various kinds. May we not lose our faith in you in the midst of hardships, but instead, look to your heavenly throne from where our blessings flow.