“I was out at the Big Box Wholesale Club again yesterday afternoon,” Stan said one morning.
“Find anything good?” I asked.
“I did,” he replied, “after I finally found a parking place.”
“Was it busy?”
“I drove around and around the parking lot until I finally saw someone getting ready to back out of a parking space. I turned on my blinker so everyone would know I was waiting for the parking space. As the car backed out and I was ready to turn into the parking place, another person cut right in and took the parking spot.”
“Wow,” I said, “that must have made you mad.”
“Not so much,” Stan replied. “Oh, I can tell you for a fact that there was a time in my life when I would have gone ballistic, honked the horn, screamed, yelled, and wanted to crash into the guy’s car.”
“This time, however, I had a real sense of peace. I figured the person must have been in a real hurry. I had plenty of time. I put this in the category of the ‘all things’ that God causes to work together for good!”
“Right after this happened,” he added, “someone tapped on my window and told me he was leaving and I could have his parking space just down the way. I took that one without a problem.”
“Did you say anything to the person who took your parking place?” I asked.
“No,” he responded. “There was no point. Anyway, the parking space wasn’t mine. It belongs to Big Box.”
“After I finished my shopping, I stopped at the food court to have some frozen yogurt. When I was returning to my car, there was a real commotion in the parking lot with the fellow who had cut me off and taken the parking spot.”
“What was going on?”
“It seems that a shopping cart had rolled out of the cart rack and crashed into the back of his car. There was a dent and a big scratch. He was really mad. He had gotten a Big Box employee out there and was yelling and saying he was going to sue. All sorts of nasty stuff. Quite a crowd had gathered.”
“But I thought there were signs saying that Big Box is not responsible for such things.”
“There are,” Stan said. “The employee was pointing that out to the fellow.”
“I have no idea,” Stan replied. “I went to my car and left, thankful I had not parked where that fellow did. And you know what, my friend? I kept thinking about what God says about revenge.”
“That’s His business, not mine!”
Bible verses to consider:
Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, in due time their foot will slip; for the day of their calamity is near, and the impending things are hastening upon them. Deuteronomy 32:35.
Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the truth of your word and the practical applications that abound for every aspect of my life. You give instruction for a purpose. Your purpose. I confess that too often I don’t listen to what you say because I want to listen to a different voice. Please forgive me for all of those instances. Help me in leaving room in my life for whatever you want to do. Please help me to follow your lead in being and doing only as you intend, not as I want when what I want is contrary to you. Please help me to see that the “all things” in Romans 8:28 means exactly what it says: All things. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Wanting to take things into our own hands, rather than leaving room for God, is part of the natural human condition. Do you believe that if we leave room for God to act that He will do so? Why or why not? Have you ever taken revenge against someone for something they did? If so, how did that turn out? The way you wanted? The way God wanted? How can we best leave everything in God’s hands?