And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. Romans 8:28-29
You’ll never see me use verse 28 without verse 29 included from the eighth chapter of the letter to the Romans. I’ve seen at least one translation that puts a comma at the end of verse 28 to show the continuation of the message here.
The “good” mentioned here shows the “all things” making us more like Jesus Christ. That means everything that happens to me is designed to make me more like Jesus. Whether I like it or not.
[Tweet “God doesn’t clear things with me first. Otherwise I’d never grow”]
Lately the process of transformation literally stinks, in more ways than one.
It’s been my observation that whenever God wants to teach me something He takes an ordinary situation and adds something extraordinary to it to get my attention.
Well, the west Texas three day delivery run I’ve been stuck with has been one of those ordinary events. I usually have Gabriel along to help unload the windows. We work well together. We’re both quiet so the driving allows my mind to wander to various things.
I only wish Gabe was as quiet at night as he is during the day. When we share a motel room for the night he has what I call an angry snore. About the time I don’t think he can snore louder he does. I swear he’s mad at someone. Maybe it’s me somehow. Maybe not.
Well, the past two weeks I’ve been able to drive solo. I’ve been looking forward to the experience even though it means I have to sleep in the sleeper berth of the tractor.
I’ve noticed something about diesel engines. They aren’t the smoothest running motors available. To keep the air conditioner running I have to keep the engine running. That means the bed shakes. That means I can’t sleep with the engine running.
So, I idle the engine to cool the cab, then shut it off to fall asleep. When I wake up in a puddle of sweat I restart the engine until the temperature drops back to a comfortable level. Lather, rinse, repeat.
The night before my first solo drive west was met with a sour stomach that kept me awake for a while. Nothing major, just uncomfortable.
Wednesday went fine. Thursday afternoon my gut told me not to eat anything so I skipped K-Bob’s free-range grilled salmon, my favorite meal. I decided to attempt an apple for nutrition.
The fruit was going down fine so I decided to try some mixed nuts to add to the nutritional value of the meal. The Brazil Nut got stuck in my throat and forced the gag response. I grabbed the only thing within reach at 70 miles per hour, a plastic shopping bag.
It caught the initial blast for about one second. That’s when I regretted not having a shower available to me that evening.
The second wave was trapped in a napkin and tossed on the messy plastic bag while keeping the big rig between that lines somehow.
As I pulled off to the shoulder of the road I thought, “Okay, how is this supposed to make me more like Christ? I don’t recall anything written about Him puking an apple on Himself at 70 mph.”
After I changed into fresh clothes I continued to Odessa to spend the night at a truck stop. I was able to eat the remainder of the apple with no ill affects.
The next morning I ate an egg-muffin sandwich and a box of milk. So far so good. I bought a couple of nutritional bars to eat later.
When I returned to the truck to commence my deliveries it wouldn’t start. It apparently needed more idle time than I gave it overnight. Two weak batteries were replaced before I could drive four hours later.
In the two hour wait for the repairman to show up I was glad I was at a truckstop with restrooms available. Yeah, the worst diarrhea I ever experienced ensued. The rest of that day I prayed I could make it to the next stop one to two hours away.
Let’s just say I had an extremely strengthened sphincter by the end of the day. How all that made me more like Jesus I have no clue.
Last week was going much better until the drive between Lubbock and K-Bob’s. That’s when the A/C went out again. They supposedly “fixed” it two weeks ago. And this was during a west Texas August heatwave.
The only A/C I had available was the old-fashioned 2-70 variety: Two windows rolled down at 70 MPH.
My supervisor asked me later if that cooled the truck down at all. I didn’t feel like going into the explanation of how I knew the affects of a convection oven so I just explained that all it did was dry some of the sweat off.
I’ve had more than my share of “good” happening in my life of late. I don’t know how much of it is spiritual warfare or simple God-ordained Jesus making. I guess I asked for this.
My prayer before God called me to write was for Him to “Break me. Break me. Use me.” There have been many times I wish I had stopped at one “Break me.” but didn’t.
He may be preparing me to be used in a mighty way.
I still have no clue how these instances in west Texas have anything to do with anything.
All I do know is I trust Him with all my heart. So if this is what it takes to be used by Him then I’m game for the seeming abuse from above. My heavenly Father always knows what’s best.
God doesn’t clear things with me first. Otherwise I’d never grow.
Keep smiling. Wade