A Flat Full of Opportunity

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It had been a long week.  Eric had worked late into each evening battling a difficult project. In midst of managing school, house, and activities during his absence, I was hit with a bad cold.  By the time Friday rolled around I was physically and emotionally exhausted, but ready to face the weekend.

But then Saturday began at 4 am when I woke up to a raging headache that left me fighting waves of nausea.  In an unusual turn of events, Eric had to go to work for the day.

Stitch had a basketball game at 8:30. We piled into the van.  My only goals in life at the time were to keep breakfast down and get to the game.

I had just helped Jack-Jack out of the vehicle when a lady pulled up and informed me that we had a tire that was flat in the back.  Of all times, seriously?!

“In everything give thanks…” came to mind. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to be reminded of in that moment.

We went into the gym and I saw a friend’s husband, Steve, across the court watching his son play ball with his daughter.  After telling him about my predicament, he was eager to help put on the spare after the game.  It wasn’t long before we stood in the 23 degree weather with the wind blowing around us.

The wonderful thing about many modern vehicles is that they are so compact.  The horrible thing about them is that they are so compact! Three grown men spent several minutes helping me searching for the spare tire and we never did find it!

There is an hour in between Stitch and Spock’s game.  There is a very sweet lady who attends her grandson’s games each week. “The Grandma” (as Jack-Jack calls her) is a kid magnet who has loved on our boys during the past several weeks of games.  In the midst of unsuccessfully looking for the tire, I took Steve’s kids and the boys inside to warm up. The Grandma took them all under her care (even going as far as to provide them snacks from the concession stand) so I could go back outside.

As Spock’s game began, the men took the flat off and found a nail.  Steve offered to take the tire to a nearby shop to have it repaired so Spock could have a parent in the stands.

He returned with the tire about an hour later and put it on the van. I expressed my thankfulness and apologies for having taken so much of his time. He simply responded, “This isn’t a big deal. If we can’t help each other out in situations like this, we are all in real trouble.”

The Grandma hugged me and said, “I love children!  It wasn’t a big deal.”

But everything everyone had done to help was a big deal to me – especially on that day.

I started the van and we headed home.  A song by Seeds Family Worship called, “Never be Shaken” taken from Psalm 62:1-2 came on.

“My soul finds rest in God alone
My salvation comes from him
He alone is my rock and my salvation
He is my fortress
I will never be shaken.”

Wow.  “Boys, do you hear what this song is saying? We needed help today.  We would say our flat tire was a bad thing, but look how we experienced God taking care of us!   What if the weather had been bad? What if that had happened somewhere else?   What if we hadn’t been in a place where you could be warm?  What if people hadn’t been nearby? What if there hadn’t been anyone I could trust to watch you? What if our friend hadn’t been willing to take the tire and get it fixed for us? God was our salvation today because He was the one that worked out all of the details!  Even when we are in hard or “bad” situations, we can trust and thank Him!”

Thanking God when things aren’t “good,” does not come naturally.  But I learned something that Saturday. Opportunity comes in many forms – sometimes even with a flat tire.

In our weakness, we experience His strength.  In our neediness, we witness the miracle of His provision.  He is the God that rescues… even when the tire is flat!

In everything… give thanks.

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