#383 Building Faith to Prepare for Any ‘Collision’
My husband Ben was in a serious accident on Friday. He was driving our loaded logging truck with his Dad as a passenger. A pick up pulled out in front of him. Ben has cultivated the ability over the years in his logging and log truck driving experience to think very quickly and clearly. He chose to swerve into the oncoming traffic lane, with no cars oncoming in view, which made is possible for him to not hit the pickup head-on into the driver’s door, a decision which prevented the other driver’s certain death. The logging truck hit the frame of the pick-up door, the pickup spun around and turned over one and a half times, and the man in the pickup was thrown out through the missing door. Ben was unable to gain full control of the truck after the impact and the swerve. Logs were strewn across the highway, and his truck was on its side. Ben and Malcolm are fine.
The man in the pickup was rushed to the hospital with substantial injuries. We are unable to get any more information on his status.
Looking back this year seems to have been a series of conflicts and challenges with all kinds of degrees of ‘impacts’ and some ‘injuries’. It is interesting to look back and try to see the pattern of the challenges. For me, over and over it seems to be reaction to irritation or the unknown. I want to develop the kind of reflexes that Ben has trained himself to have when he is logging or driving. He thinks ahead about emergencies. For example, when he is driving, he thinks of what could happen, and he figures out what would be the best thing to do. He does this over and over. When he does that enough it ‘programs a response which becomes an involuntary reflex.’ When he is actually faced with the ‘threat’ he is calm and the automatic thought-out response follows.
In this instance Ben says: he did the best he knew how to do, and the outcome is in God’s hands. People have died in accidents that were a fraction of this severe. Again, the outcome is in God’s hands. To resist whatever happens is to resist what God allows.
We pray for this man and his family, trusting in the providence of God, and hoping for an opportunity to someday communicate with him. And we are so grateful for the Loving Providence of God toward Ben and Malcolm.
Ben shared these thoughts with me: Building Faith is similar to practicing for emergencies: we strengthen our faith by thinking over and over about God being in control of specific situations that we think might come up. When we do this enough we convince ourselves that it’s true. It becomes part of our thinking. Like Tevya on Fiddler on the Roof. He talked to God all the time. Like David. He didn’t have to think about attacking Goliath, he just said What? You guys are afraid? What is this? God is on our side!
I look back and realize that we all have so many opportunities to practice whatever it is that tests us to our core.
Consistent surrender of thought builds the Faith that brings us Peace. Philippians 4:6-9
“When you are plagued by a persistent problem—one that goes on and on—view it as a rich opportunity. An on-going problem is like a tutor who is always by your side….
Once you have become grateful for a problem, it loses its power to drag you down.”
Instead of thinking: Not this experience again, I want to think: Another opportunity to practice! My tutor is by my side! What is the LORD trying to teach me?
And there is something that accompanies the Persistent Problem.
We all have reason to be grateful for His Persistent Providence and Protection! He has dominion over every ‘flood’ of circumstance beyond our control and is able to give us strength and peace amid the storm. Psalm 29:10-11
A few thoughts for the repeated experiences and opportunities to practice in this new year:
“We see how our Master laid down His earthly life, and we see from the Scriptures that He is to be an Ensample to us. So we are to submit ourselves rejoicingly to all the providences of God—glad to have God’s will done in us, whatever it may cost, whatever it may mean to sacrifice.” R5303
“It is encouraging for us to know that this warfare is not one which we must wage alone. All the powers of Heaven are enlisted on our behalf.” 5854
“For the Lord GOD helps me, therefore I am not disgraced;
Therefore I have set my face as a flint, and I know I shall not be ashamed.” Isaiah 50:7
Because the Lord GOD surrounds and protects me I will not remain in a state of woundedness, or insult. Therefore I have set my face as a flint, a hard rock;
My determination is set and unchangeable, and I know I shall not be ashamed or disappointed.
LORD bless you in this New Year according to the riches of His Unfailing Love and Depths of Wisdom. Philippians 4:19