All Things Work for Good

This Sunday will be one month from the latest perilous trial in my life. This last month has renewed my trust in God as protector and provider. It has also made me think more and ask all sorts of questions. Is it really possible that a few, tiny, seemingly insignificant moments could result in the saving of a life? Are all the seemingly random conversations and actions connected? Could it be that all the moments of our lives come together forming a tapestry and narrative so much more grand than their individual parts? I think so. Here’s the reason why.

It all began with just a few moments with my mother. My mom is a great lady! One of things that makes her great is her dedication in teaching me the scriptures from a young age. One of my first lessons came from Exodus chapter 20.

“Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12 (NIV)

Clearly this is one of the scriptures I heard A LOT as a kid, usually after a bad report card, a call from one of my teachers or just getting in trouble over silly things at home. But these words served me well not just as a youth in relation to my parents but also to the larger community in which I lived. In my neighborhood everybody was your mama and everybody was your daddy. All adults were owed respect and honor and their words of instruction were to be treasured as if fine silver and gold. I never realized how this lesson which could be so easily forgotten would contribute to the saving of my life.

This brings me to my wife. God picked out the right girl for me. It’s not just her beauty or brains, it’s her capacity to suffer long and love a hardheaded man like me. I don’t know how many times she’s told me, “Nic, watch your speed.” But somewhere along the way her gentle and pleading refrain broke through the hardness of my head and my heart. I had no imagination to envision a life where I didn’t have a lead-foot but her calls to accountability accompanied by the scripture that says, “honor one another above yourselves”, is encouraging me to change my ways. It’s all boiling down to this: I drive by the Texas Motor Speedway every day but I don’t have to drive like I’m at the Texas Motor Speedway. This reality is finally sinking in and I am grateful.

My tapestry includes one of the finest women I know, my mother-in-law. It actually feels weird to even type that phrase because it doesn’t fully express our relationship. Judi truly is my mom. Because of the closeness and intimacy of our relationship, I listen when she speaks. Very few words in all the moments of my life’s tapestry have made such an impact as the words she spoke to me on Saturday night, March 21st.

“Don’t take the kids in the morning. It will be too wet and cold. Let them stay home.”

Now allow me this moment of self disclosure. I am a recovering jerk with more than a little bit of arrogance, hubris and a pinch of chauvinism I’m still working on. Couple that with the fact that I’ve been living on my own since I was 17 years old so I feel like I fit the title of “grown man” pretty well since I’ve been wearing it for more than half my life. I don’t really like being dictated to or being told what I ought to do and the reasons, the tone or the niceness of the request really don’t make much of a difference. Did you read the part above where I said I was hardheaded?

I say all of this not to brag about my shortcomings but to point out that I am not naturally inclined to take the advice of others. But all those scriptures about “honoring father and mother” and “honoring others” before yourself inclined my heart to heed another Spirit-led expression of honoring that is found in Ephesians 5 and first Peter 5.

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21

“…Clothe yourselves with humility…God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5

All of these moments seem to have come together at 7:27AM on Sunday morning, March 22nd. And the outcome of this confluence of events begs one more question. All these moments came together at this specific time to result in what? A man who survived a car wreck with a cool story to tell or is there something more?

I don’t know the answer to this yet, but I do know all of this has come together for my good. Not just my good, I trust that God is using all these moments and this testimony for others’ good. I think that good has already begun its work in my life. The good is a dad who is working to stop cramming in one more thing and choosing to spend one more moment before bedtime with my children who are growing so fast. The good is a husband who turns the TV off and tunes in to his wife because the moment of quiet conversation in a house with little children are precious. The good is practicing the spiritual discipline of simplicity to rid myself of a life that is far too busy with unimportant things so that I can notice and engage in the most important things. The good is stopping and smelling the flowers because they won’t always be in bloom. This is just some of the good that God is working in my life from a few moments of hardship.

Now I don’t suggest you roll your car three times to get clarity about what’s really important in life, but wouldn’t that be worth it if it resulted in dedicating more time to your family or giving more of yourself to the Lord? Some counselors say that it can take years for the shock and effects of a traumatic event to wear off. They say that eventually this feeling will wear off but I pray to God that all this good will not!


Other Posts You Might Like:

God Provides - Bob Bentley

Who’s Your Ruler? - Nic Dunbar

The World Is Flat - Ross Thomson

Growing Up…Hungry - Nic Dunbar

Kingdom Outpost - Casey McCollum

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Location
McKinney at Cardinal

101 Cardinal Drive
Denton, TX 76209

940.387.4355

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Sunday Worship Schedule
8:30 - Worship (1st Service)
Attended Nursery (0-2yr). Children (3yr-4th grade) are dismissed during the sermon to attend children's church.
9:40 - Focused Fellowship
This is a time of fellowship and refreshments throughout the building. Children pickup before or after Kids Praise.
10:00 - Adult Bible Classes & Kids Discipleship
Adult Bible Classes - locations vary. High School & Middle School Discipleship Groups in the Youth area. Kids Praise for 3yr-4th grade. Nursery 0-2yr.
11:00 - Worship (2nd Service) & Kids Bible Class
Attended Nursery (0-2yr). Children (3yr - 8th grade) are dismissed during the sermon to attend Bible classes.

Wednesday Evening Schedule
5:30 - Fellowship Meal
Adults - $4 and Students/Children $3 (during the school year)
6:30 - Passion Worship
Praise and worship time in the Worship Center.
6:30 - Celebrate Recovery
Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered, 12-step recovery group that provides a safe place to address and deal with life's hurts, habits and hang-ups.
7:00 - Bible Classes & Small Groups
Classes for children and adults of all ages and other ministry groups meet at various locations throughout the building.

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