Lessons learned at the monastery:
- It would be hard to live without air conditioning
- Going through the stations of the cross is a blessing at any time of year
- I need to be silent more often
- Ambient noise around a lake is universally soothing
- Trust God in the unexpected
I had a little adventure today at the monastery. The heat was getting a little oppressive due to the no air conditioning thing- so I headed back to my car after a few hours and was looking forward to picking up a cold shake/drink and going home.
Until I saw the flat tire on my back right side.
I have never had a flat tire before. My husband is in AL, my parents are a two days drive away, I have no family to call.
I was struggling inside- I had the urge to say- God why did this have to happen to me???
But that’s what the “old Rachel” would have done.
The “new Rachel” is seeking to trust God, even when the unexpected comes up.
And instead of reacting like I would have, I was instead trying desperately to say- Ok, God, here I am. What now?
I called my Mom and we prayed. I called my hubby and he was praying for me. I called some friends from church and they were going to send their sons to save me- but they were an hour away.
Did I mention it was hot?
So, I was sitting by the car- hoping that someone would pass by and notice me looking like I needed help. About a dozen people walked or drove by and didn’t even look at me.
I was starting to feel like the man that was beaten and left for dead on the side of the road by bandits– everyone wanted to just walk around on the other side and keep their distance (Luke 10:30-37)…
except for the Good Samaritan.
Then, I looked up and met the eye of a couple walking out to their car. I went over and told them I had a flat tire. They immediately sprung into action. She was sweetly comforting me while he grabbed tools out of his truck.
He had my tire changed and the spare on in 10 minutes. I was so grateful- I thanked them at least a dozen times.
I said thank you for noticing and being willing to stop and help me. And he said, I’m a pastor here locally- God has a reason for everything– maybe we were supposed to meet here today and we both needed to be delayed on our way home.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
I think I could add here- you saw me stuck in the parking lot of the monastery with a flat tire and you stopped to help me change it. You served me in love.
Do we keep our eyes open for opportunities to be a blessing? Or are we so busy with what we need to get accomplished that our eyes are not looking nor our ears listening for the Spirit’s prompting?
Being the one in need was a good reminder to me– look for an opportunity to serve someone else in love in Jesus Name- to bring glory and honor to Him in serving without expecting anything in return.
I was also reminded that when the unexpected happens- we daily choose how to respond. I am so glad that I trusted God, prayed, and waited. It would have been easy to get angry and wish I had never gone to the monastery and let this incident ruin my whole day.
I thank God that through His Spirit working in me- I was able to find peace and strength even in the midst of a difficult situation.
Lord, there are needs all around us, and sometimes it is easy to get on autopilot. We don’t make room for interruptions, or to hear your Spirit leading us into the unexpected. May we be willing to be interrupted and bless someone today as we serve in love. I thank and praise You for the sweet couple that stopped and met my need today- and blessed me richly in those brief ten minutes we spent together. Oh God, may I be as quick and willing to serve you.
Precious Savior and King, change our hearts. May we trust you when the unexpected happens in life. When we end up stuck in traffic, or waiting an extra hour for our car to get fixed, or our children make a mess when we are headed out the door on a trip- may you give us your eyes. May we see not just “the problem” but the possibilities in each trial or difficulty- and seek to honor and be obedient to your leading in the midst of it. In Jesus Name, Amen.