From Debbie Wilhite
God, in His wisdom, often gives us tests, as He did to the children of Israel, to prove us. Some times we “pass.” Other times we “fail.” Last weekend was another “test” for me. Unfortunately, I failed. But the blessing was to follow.
The queue wasn’t long at all on Saturday morning. A new woman took my paper with the details for my ID pickup. She sauntered to the computer but was back in little time handing me back my paper with a no-care comment, “The numbers don’t match. You’ll have to reapply.” “What?! Check again,” I pleaded. Derek asked, “Is her name in the system?” She sighed and made a show of looking briefly at the computer again. “No. You’ll have to reapply,” she repeated. “You’ve got to be kidding!” She just gazed at me like I had two heads (maybe two would have proved the old adage true and been better than the one head I already had…it appeared I could use all the help I could get). Against my better judgment I scowled and wondered aloud, “And whose fault is THAT? We applied legally. You sent us notice it’s here, and now…” My mind was racing, thinking the worst, that perhaps someone had stolen it. With that I snatched the paper from her and marched off, leaving poor Derek to follow.
I was mad. I was confused. More than that, I was ashamed at my response.
The rest of the day brought tears off and on as the Lord convicted me of my poor testimony. Finally, I went on a walk to talk to Him about it. Taking along my devotional “walking book” of Bible verses, I turned to May 21. The verses were as follows: Eph 6:10; 2 Cor 12:9-10; Ps 71:16; Ro 1:16; Phil 4:13; Col 1:29; 2 Cor 4:7; Neh 8:10; Col 1:11.
It was like salt in a wound–but when I confessed my own sinfulness, it was balm to my soul. How weak I was! How I needed the joy of the Lord to be my strength! How I had needed patience and longsuffering WITH joyfulness in this situation–and had failed.
All day I had mulled over. The occasion, rehashing the absurdity of the meeting, stirring up ill feelings, simmering like a pot of stew on a back burner.
Oh, that I had meditated on the Word of God instead of my own thoughts! What a hard lesson. I felt I had lost a day. In fact, the “hard events” of the past two weeks had all come flooding back to mind to add more weight to the matter and my mind. Now it wasn’t just one unnerving circumstance which I had no control over at the moment, but a fortnight of irritations, like a steady swarm of mosquitoes, that threatened to infect me.
Jerry made a comment in conclusion on Sunday, “You cannot ‘wander’ for years. God’s rope of mercy is only so long.” How thankful I am for the troubling of the Holy Spirit, that He won’t let me get away with sin. It occurred to me as well that perhaps the closer we get to the Lord the shorter the rope is and the quicker He tugs us back to where we ought to be. “Draw nigh to God” is my responsibility and opportunity. The graciousness of God is that “He will draw nigh” to me. I took one baby step toward God in confession and faith, and He took one giant step meeting me in love. How good God is!
By the way, I got my I’d with no problems on Tuesday when the usual man was in attendance. 🙂