Today, I dropped my special jar of honey that I bought back in March at a little store in south Florida. I quickly texted this picture and the comment, “Needless to say, things haven’t been going my way lately…” to close friends and family.
This past week I had destroyed one of my best friend’s mailbox with the side mirror of my car and had become sick on Sunday after working two days at a state fair.
The honey jar incident happened right in the middle of me working on a writing assignment while my son was at Mother’s Day Out. I didn’t have time for this! I grumbled. It would — and it did — take me an hour just to clean the mess up; a precious hour that I needed to spend in writing.
Because of where the honey spilt, I had to pull out this attachment at the bottom of the refrigerator to mop up the honey (perhaps you can see what I am talking about in the above picture). When I pulled it off the refrigerator, I was in shock; I was sick. The dust and dirt I found there was enough to make anyone living in our house sick. This nice little plastic piece had been hiding all of this trash that ashamedly I had not even known was there since living in our house these past three years.
My grumbling quickly turned to thankfulness. If I had not dropped a glass jar full of honey right at the bottom of my refrigerator, I would never have known of the filth living behind this plastic piece.
Isn’t that true with other things in life? When bad things happen, we grumble maybe because of its effect on us or the inconvenience of it or the unfairness of it. But sometimes it is these unfortunate incidents that God uses to take down that plastic piece in our lives that is hiding that which is unholy, such as pride, bitterness, unbelief, arrogance, hatred, ungratefulness, unforgivingness, etc.
When my apartment building burned down, God used it to reveal to me my deep rooted attachment to things of this world.
When I was turned down a job, God used it to show me my pride and arrogance.
When I knocked down my friend’s mailbox, God used it to show me how I long for grace when I mess up but how I often don’t show grace to others when they mess up.
Can you make a list like this? Ask God to use the bad incidents or the unfortunate accidents in your life to reveal that part of you which is not holy and pleasing to God that may be hiding somewhere behind a “plastic piece.” Perhaps, you haven’t even thought to look there but it’s there making you sick spiritually and the only way you’ll notice it is through those unfortunate incidents. And, even if things have not been going your way (as I texted my friends and family today), “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God (1 Thess. 5:18).”
Let this be our prayer: “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Ps. 139:23-24) Amen.