PRINCIPLE: “When you wreck it, thank God.”
Barb & I were so excited! We were finally entering the process of getting a ‘new’ car. In those days they called it a ‘used’ car, but it would be new for us and better than what we had at the time. A wonderful man in our congregation, Ade, sold used cars and was happy to work with us. He showed us one we wanted to try so he told us that since he trusted us we could drive it around a while and check it out. So off we went. Eventually we ended up in downtown Holland and parked on the street while we did a couple of errands. A short time later we came back to the car – and it had a huge dent in the side! Someone had rammed it – and of course they left no information. We were sick – it wasn’t even ours and now we had to take a wrecked car back to this nice man, and tell him what had happened. Sure, it wasn’t our fault, but we were embarrassed, hurt, and sorry all at once. Ade had taken a risk with us and all he got in return was damaged goods.
When we told Ade what had happened he was, not surprisingly, very gracious. He basically said, “It happens.” In the years since then I’ve learned how right he was – it happens. God takes risk with us every day. Think of what he loans us – children, talents, gifts, and resources. Think of the responsibility He’s given to us – to share the Gospel and build His Church. Think of how often we return things back to him in a wrecked condition. We come up short; we fail to use what He’s given and entrusted to us and return to Him only damaged goods. It should make us feel sick, embarrassed, hurt, and sorry – especially since it is our fault.
Yet, what I have learned is “When you wreck it, thank God.” If God didn’t loan us all these things and entrust us with all these responsibilities we wouldn’t have anything to wreck! The fact that God trusts us enough to keep taking such risks with us is a sign of His grace – He keeps on trusting us. So “When you wreck it, thank God.” Thank Him for loving you enough to give you second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth – indeed unlimited – chances. Imagine, if God expects us to forgive ‘seventy times seven’, how many more times will He forgive us? I’m not saying we should take it easy and not worry about all He gives us nor be irresponsible with it – far from it. But, “When you wreck it, thank God.” Thank Him that “…in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” He will even …increase your store of seed and enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. He promises You will be made rich n every way so that you can be generous on every occasion.” (2 Cor. 9) He’ll just keep taking the risk with you.
So do all you can the best you can. Yet, “When you wreck it, thank God.” Thank Him, as Paul wrote, for His indescribable gift!