6 Reasons I am Thankful for the Hole in our Wall
About 8am Wednesday morning, a young man drove a Kia Sportage down the hill from the hotel, through the air conditioning unit, and into the block wall of our children’s wing. I showed up for work slightly after the accident had occurred and have been reflecting on it all day – accompanied by the sounds of various repairs. I have come to the conclusion that I am profoundly grateful to the Lord for the huge hole in our wall. I am thankful for at least these six reasons:
(1) No children were in the room when the car exploded through the wall. I am thankful to God, who is sovereign over service times and car accidents, for His protection of our little ones.
(2) My first thought when I got the call from the secretary was “impossible – that is a stone wall!” Staring at the gaping hole in a reinforced block wall is a graphic reminder that the strongest of walls offer no certainty and no protection. Only the Lord is our Defender and our Protector. To trust in any other strength is foolishness, and can so easily be shown to be so!
(3) The hole, now cleaned out, boarded up and awaiting tomorrow’s repairs, helps me remember my brothers and sisters around the world whose homes and churches have their walls knocked in or blown open, not by accident but because they are believers. I am thankful for this visual reminder to pray for them.
(4) Thinking about what could have been if the car had hit only a couple of doors down (mine) or at a different kind of day (during service), has helped me remember the difference between physical safety and spiritual security. They are not the same. Although He graciously did so in this case, God does not promise to protect me from cars plowing through my walls, or into me, or over my children. He promises, instead, that we will never, not for a single moment, be out of the fellowship with Jesus. He promises that the life He has given me is indestructible. He promises that His gift of eternal life is already inside me and can never be stolen or smashed or snatched away. I am grateful for this incredible gift!
(5) I am thankful for this wake-up call concerning the transience of this life. It is so easy for me to begin to take my life for granted, and to live as if it will go on forever just the way it is now. I am grateful for this gently invasive reminder that He owes me nothing – not a secure office, not a temperature controlled work environment, not even another breath. It is so easy for me to slip under the spell of this world and start living as if what I can see is most real and most important. But it can be destroyed in an instant. My time and energy and ministry must be invested accordingly. I am grateful for this reminder to get back on track.
(6) Small shakings like this provide a good litmus test for our hearts. They serve us by revealing the reality of our affection for Jesus. When my world shakes and I become experientially conscious of how thin the thread of my life is, and how little of any consequence I can control – does my heart overflow with fear and offense toward the Lord? Or do I find myself “reflexively” treasuring Him more and trusting in His promises? We all have two answers to how much we love Jesus – the answer we give ourselves and the answer that surfaces in crisis. Often those two answers do not match. It is the grace of God to reveal that discrepancy while there is still time to cultivate fiery affection that will be unshaken by the times of great difficulty that are coming. For that grace today, I am grateful.