I remember a sermon growing up where our pastor described God in this parallel. A husband and wife were driving in their pickup truck. The husband was driving and his wife was in the passenger seat. They came upon another pickup truck of a younger couple to which the young woman was sitting in the middle seat next to the young man. The wife then asked her husband… “Oh…remember when we were younger and rode together like that? How come we don’t do that anymore?” The husband looked at his wife and said “Well…I haven’t moved!” The idea here is that God doesn’t change…or move…as it says in James 1:17…but we do. I have always kept that analogy in my mind, what I didn’t realize was that even though God doesn’t change, it doesn’t mean He doesn’t move us closer to Him.
There are times in my life (sticking with the pickup truck analogy) that it felt like while God was driving He, metaphorically of course, took a 2×4 and hit me smack dab right in the middle of my forehead. Maybe it was to get my attention, make me stop and realize I am not the one in control of my life or just to say “HELLO…remember ME!?” I can name the dates of these events they are so fresh in my mind. What I didn’t realize was that what He was trying to do was pull me closer to Him. My response to those events clearly reflected my lack of understanding.
I wish I could say that every time the Lord “hit me in the head”…or in reality moved me closer to Him…I stayed right in the middle seat next to Him. There were times I inched away slowly. There were times I pushed Him away so hard I flew straight across with my arms and legs flailing and hit the passenger door with a great big thud. There were times I stubbornly sat so close to the other side that I fastened my seatbelt with my arms and legs crossed and looked out the opposite window in defiance. But He is always able to pull be back to Him…thankfully not always with a 2×4!
On this road of life how often do we think that we’re the ones behind the wheel? Why does it take a 2×4 square in the face to make us realize we aren’t? Even still I struggle with certain things that come along even though I know God is in control of it all. Yet sometimes it’s in the most difficult circumstances in our lives that we are best able to see God’s astounding love. When He moves us closer to Him and we choose to cling to Him instead of searching for love in all the wrong places is when we find perfect peace and can see much more clearly.
Someone I used to work for and very much respect told me something once…he said “Life is only 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” I would not have chosen to go down this road. In some instances it was only once I got through and looked back when I thought I was all alone in the darkest of night that I realized God was the one driving all along. That’s motivation for me to stay right in the middle next to Him no matter where this road takes me!