Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The (Not) Car Wash

I only had 10 minutes between point G and H: I had already driven from point A through F that day. My car was in desperate need of a wash, so I pulled in to the automatic car wash depot and began to deposit my dollar bills. I was (almost) certain that I could rummage up enough money to pay for the car wash. One by one, I inserted the bills in to the slot on the machine, often having to reinsert them after they were spit back out at me. The machine apparently did not recognize them as genuine tender. I was getting frustrated. Coming up short of dollar bills, I turned to the change cup that I have in my car and began to dig through a multitude of coins, trying to unearth a sufficient amount of quarters. Again, I came short of my goal, then to notice that the machine would only take quarters in change … no other coins accepted.

Disappointed, discouraged – ok … irritated – I pushed the “refund” button to hear the loud clanging of quarters as they spilled in to the metal cup. Great, not only did I not get a car wash, I now had a slew of quarters to add to my already overflowing cup of coins. It’s just not what I had planned or wanted. What a waste of time!

Sometimes, in life we can feel this way, as well. We may try to make deposits as we serve the Lord, only to come up short, and then not have the outcome we expect. Disappointment sets in. We pick up and put on the cloak of discouragement (rather than the full armor of God) and emanate irritation rather than joy; at least, I know I do.

How about you, dear reader? Do you ever feel as if you have invested in a project, a ministry, a circumstance, a dream or a person and you have come up short? Are you discouraged by not experiencing a favorable outcome? Are you feeling as if you want to throw in the towel, pack up and leave, or push the “refund” button?

Remember that in God’s economy, nothing is wasted, and endurance is a prized possession. There may be times when our plans seem to be thwarted, or we are not able to do what we desired, or we have to wait, but God tells us to not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9). He does not forget what we do for Him. Hebrews 6:10 says, “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”

Persevere. Endure patiently. Love the Lord above all things, trusting Him to give you what you need to complete the work that He has for you to do, in His time.

2 comments:

Anna said...

Love this post, Andrea! Keep up the good work, my friend. :)

hearttoheart said...

Came to your blog via Micey's (girl who loves Jesus) Scrolled through several of your posts.Several of them spoke to me. you said," Do you ever feel as if you have invested in a project, a ministry, a circumstance, a dream or a person and you have come up short? Are you discouraged by not experiencing a favorable outcome? Are you feeling as if you want to throw in the towel, pack up and leave, or push the “refund” button?" ...

yes in a big way. This is not the place to unpack that event in my life, let's just say I invested years of my life and passion in a local church only to hit a brick wall. The car wash didn't take just my quarters, the ground opened up and swallowed my whole car leaving me standing there completely dumbfounded :-)...sent me into a spiral of depression, and I'm a person not prone to depression (think Tigger from winny the pooh. As you said, God wastes nothing..nothing....and I can honestly say 14 years after the fact, I DO see the hand of God even in ground opening up and swallowing my car. I do wish he (God) would have told me what he was doing while I was in the midst of all that sifting.
You mentioned the encouragement of others in another post. God used one man who was willing to listen as I ranted and raved, and tried to regain my bearings who gave me hope. He wasn't a trained counselor...just a friend. As I read through your posts I "hear" another encourager in the body of Christ. DM

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