What Do You See When the Trailer Comes Loose?
Today I was on my way down the highway hauling the trailer I would need to bring home some cattle, when the trailer broke loose. For years, I have used cattle and agriculture to help and mentor young people. Last year we moved our operation, but we have struggled to gather some of the cattle.
It should have been easy. It wasn’t. I have prayed and asked the Lord to help us, give us wisdom and so on. Finally, we were close to getting them rounded up and moved.
I have all the right equipment and take all the safety precautions, probably to an extreme. Five miles from the cattle, the trailer broke loose and headed into oncoming traffic. It jumped the center median and miraculously missed two vehicles. The impact would have been devastating. It proceeded through three lanes of traffic and up the other curb and through a fence.
When Things Go Drastically Wrong
When you have done all you know to do and things still go drastically wrong, what’s your perspective? It is so easy to get lost in the American culture where easy equals blessed and prosperity equals success. I am not sure how we as Christians could get so far off from the basic truth that in this life we will have many troubles. Jesus teaches us in Matthew 5 about perspective.
He says: “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may prove yourselves to be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors, do they not do the same?”
Now, the specific passage teaches us how to react to our enemies. But I believe it is biblically accurate to understand the truth that reaction to trouble not directly tied to an enemy is the same. Let me explain it this way. If you are only happy when things are going well for you, how are you any different from the unbeliever? If you only have peace when there is no trouble, how are you different from the unbeliever?
As believers, we can’t have the same perspective as the unbeliever. God calls us and empower us to a higher way of life and thought. Especially when we have done all we know to do, to do the right things, the right way, and they still go wrong.
After the trailer stopped without killing anyone, it would have been easy and probably logical to get mad, to feel defeated. To ask God “Why are you allowing this thing that has blessed so many kids over the years to now be such a burden on me?” Several thousand dollars later (due to damage done to trailer and the fence), I could feel that God is angry with me or that I failed somehow. I could easily and justifiably (in the world’s eyes) say “This isn’t fair!”
But that just isn’t the truth. Life happens — good, bad and indifferent, it all just happens.
Our Great Hope
God’s Word teaches us good and bad happen to both the righteous and unrighteous. The great hope in all tragedy is that God uses it to our benefit. That is His eternal promise and He does not change.
So let me ask you again. What is your perspective? Let me encourage you to live in the joy, peace and security of God — the joy, peace, and security that is yours regardless of the trouble that comes.
Remember we have brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world who love God dearly and who walk in His favor as much as any other, who suffer far more than we will ever suffer in our country. When we use the word “God,” we reference the All Knowing, All Powerful, Ever Present Creator who is self-existing. Nothing catches Him by surprise and nothing is beyond His control.
I love the imagery my friend and co-laborer James Robison uses. He reminds me that God safely keeps us me in His hands: “All pressure in this life is either coming from the hand of God or through His fingers for the beautiful and beneficial purpose of shaping us in into the image of the Son He loves.”
Me? Hours and many dollars later, still with no cattle gathered, I can honestly say God is good and life is good.
John Yeatts is the Campus Pastor of LIFE Outreach International and the National Coordinator of Churches for LIFE. He has served in full time ministry for 30 years, 15 of those years in the role of a pastor to the local church. He is a husband of 29 years and father of three children. John and his family recently planted TEXOMA Bible Fellowship in Whitesboro, Texas.