Worshiping God always involves a choice, either to follow our own emotions and inclinations or to yield to God and His presence in our circumstances, whether good or bad.
Last weekend my brother-in-law Mike drove to a local home improvement store in his brand new GMC Tahoe with only 3,000 miles on the odometer. When he arrived at the parking lot, he parked his SUV and turned it off. Before going into the store, he decided to check on a few phone messages while still in his vehicle. As he was on his phone, he heard a sudden, loud thump and felt his parked SUV shudder. When he went outside to check what happened, he saw a door from an older pickup truck parked next to him had smashed into his new vehicle and put a large, creased dent into the passenger door. As he inspected first his own SUV and then the older pickup that damaged his car, he noticed a young girl who suddenly ducked down and tried to hide inside the older truck.
It was a windy day, and Mike realized what had happened. The little girl hurriedly had tried to open her door, and the wind took it like a sail, carrying it out of her tiny grasp and smashing it into his new ride. Mike surmised that the little girl probably felt both terror and guilt over what had happened.
Just then the girl’s mother returned to the pickup truck.
There is the tipping point in moments like these, where we can either give into our own indignation and anger or yield to God and His peace. Thankfully, Mike chose the latter. He politely approached the woman and said, “Excuse me, but your daughter accidentally hit my car with her door.”
As the woman saw the damage, she immediately started to yell at her frightened little daughter who still cowered inside the pickup truck.
With measured and peaceful words Mike explained that the wind probably took the door from her daughter’s hands, and gently asked the woman not to get upset and judge the girl too harshly. Mike assured the woman saying, “There are a lot bigger things in life to be concerned about. Don’t worry; we’ll take care of this little problem.”
Just then the woman, nearly in tears, told Mike it had been a tough week for her family as her brother died in an accident a few days earlier.
Mike realized THAT was a much bigger thing than a dented door. Sensing God’s prompting. Mike quietly asked her “Is it okay if I pray for you right now?” The woman agreed, and Mike prayed for the woman, her husband, family, and the little girl still in the truck.
A few minutes later they exchanged insurance information and then went peacefully on their respective ways.
God had turned what could have been an ugly situation into a portal of His grace and mercy because Mike chose to worship God and love other people instead of focusing on a dented door.
In this way Mike’s love for God was confirmed and affirmed, as the Apostle John once wrote:
“We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
1 John 4:19-21
Authentic worshippers of God can reflect His grace, even in times of disappointment, stress, and challenges. God can turn the problems we encounter into windows of His power and love if only we yield ourselves to His Holy Spirit in those moments…
…even when a door gets dented.
God bless you!