If we had used a 7 cent zip tie, we would have saved ourselves a lot of $. Frustrating! I hate it when stuff like that happens, stuff you can’t really control, and then, the situation seems to get even more out of control. As I was having a morning chat with God, I told Him I didn’t understand why a water problem had to occur in my brand new house. It just seemed like such a waste of money and time and resources. The answer I got wasn’t one I was expecting. I remembered that I was God’s steward.
I’m pretty sure the $500 deductible of our home owner’s insurance policy (and quite frankly, the thousands the insurance company will pay out) to fix the water damage would’ve been much better spent somewhere else. I have a friend who is trying to sell a house and the buyer’s lender keeps postponing the closing date. So, they have to keep paying the mortgage (along with their current living expenses). It seems like such a waste, and it creates a financial hardship for her family. We’ve all had stuff like this happen to us, and its so annoying. So during this season, I’m wondering, “What should my perspective be?”
On laundry day, I heard something kind of loud and strange. Assuming it was just construction in my neighborhood, I ignored it. Things might have been a little different if I hadn’t. When it was about time to go put the laundry in the dryer, I walked upstairs into several inches of water. The drain pipe of the washing machine had come out. Almost three weeks later, I’ve got only subfloor upstairs and a garage full of insulation from the ceiling (a mess I know I will be cleaning up years from now as the little white stuff just flits around). Its a minor problem compared to cancer, death, fire etc. But, it is still one I have to deal with. So, I’m asking myself, “What is a disciple’s point of view?”
For starters, I guess I don’t really get to call things that happen in my life a waste. Nor do I really have justification for being overly frustrated (which often leads to anger). I don’t get to because I am a disciple of Jesus, the Promised Messiah. I have given Him permission to do what He wants in my life. I have given Him control over my finances, over my family, over what goes on in my home. This, of course, does not spare me from taking full responsibility for my actions or thoughts. That issue is not really in view here. If God is the owner of all my stuff, then He has a right to do things His way, whether I understand or agree or I don’t.
We’re doing the best we can, and sometimes life’s junk just happens. It is then that I go to my Father and say, “Wow. What do I do with that? What do You want my response to be?” Affliction is not fun, but it does draw us closer to Him. Affliction is a huge motivator for prayer. And, while that is true, I’m also trying to talk with God about the good stuff in my life, not just seek Him when things are crummy. I’ve been thanking Him for a hot shower. For my healthy kids, for my husband’s job.
I don’t know how many sermons I’ve heard about stewardship. (I’m one of those kids who in utero heard sermons and was at every weeknight revival service.) I don’t think the stewardship principle really hit home though until now. Am I a steward or not? Does God have the right to do what He wants with His money and house or not? I settled the question about 11 years ago if He had the right to tell me what to do or not. I guess what I’m thinking about now is, “Is God the owner of my stuff, or am I?” I don’t know why, but for me, it was easier to agree God had a right to tell me what to do than if He had a right to do what He wants with my things.
Its the problem we’ve had since the Garden of Eden. God gave us all the trees we could ever want and said, “Eat! Enjoy! Knock yourselves out!” (Which was, by the way, the very first commandment.) But, we only wanted what clearly belonged to God. If we had left His tree alone, we would’ve been communicating our thanks to Him for giving us everything we needed. But, by eating His fruit, we communicated that we knew better, that we could make up our own minds about what was His or ours, and whether or not He had the authority to give us teaching and direction for how to live our lives.
So, yes, my answer is that God does have a right to do what He wants. My silly washing machine incident is just a first world problem that holds no consequence in the big scheme of things. Except… that it does. It does when it calls into question who exactly is the boss and who is the steward. I will take responsibility and do my best, but I will leave what happens or doesn’t happen in His very capable hands.
Questions for Reflection:
• In what areas of stewardship do you struggle? How could you start that conversation with God?
• What kinds of things do your prayers tend to focus on? Do you have a consistent time to talk things over with God?
• What things are frustrating to you about your life right now, and how could you change your perspective?
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