Children love stories. Grandchildren especially love hearing stories about their parents when they were children. Recently we had the privilege of keeping two of our grandchildren so naturally I shared many stories about their dad as a child. They were always mesmerized when I started one of the narratives. One story was about Joshua when he was around 12. He was visiting a friend and was driving their 4-wheeler in the country accompanied by their 6 year old son. Well, as most young boys often do, Joshua lost his focus. He ran into a telephone pole and the jolt knocked both of the boys off of the 4-wheeler into the hard ground.
Of course, the mothers panicked and ran over to the boys to check for broken bones or injuries. No visible injuries were apparent. We both took the boys to the doctor anyway just to make sure all checked out fine, which it did. But something unusual happened the next day. Joshua sat up that morning and yelled for me. I came running. He said that he couldn’t see…that everything was out of focus. It was like he was looking through a fog. I immediately called the eye doctor and he saw us immediately. The final diagnosis: Joshua needed glasses! He went from seeing fine one day to everything being in a blur the next. Then the doctor explained something to me that I had never heard before. A blow to the head can expedite something in the body that would have happened eventually. He said that Joshua would have needed glasses at some point, but the blow to the head caused that condition to manifest itself overnight!
Of course, this caused me to think. What blows to the head do we take unexpectedly? An unwelcome diagnosis by the doctor? Divorce papers being served? Loss of a job? A death in the family? Those are hard blows for any of us. How do those blows manifest themselves in our life? Depression? Fatigue? Alcoholism? Anger? Those bumps are mostly unexpected, but many bumps in our life are predictable. For instance, running out of gas on the side of the road could be due to our inattentiveness to the gas meter. Failing a test could be due to the lack of preparation. Adam understood the bump on the head. When he partook of that forbidden fruit it caused a chain of chaos that remains to this day. When David glanced at Bathsheba on the rooftop it started a whole lot of bumps in his life. However, few people endured the bumps in life like Paul did. I would dare say that most of us haven’t been attacked by fiery serpents, stoned by our enemies or shipwrecked.
If anyone had a reason to be angry or malcontented, it would be Paul. But instead he says this: Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake, I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ…” Phil. 3:8.
Be mindful of the bumps. Watch out for them. However, when you can’t avoid them know that Christ is there with you making those bumps just a little bit softer. Eventually He might even equip with you glasses in order to see and understand those bumps along the way.