Is your refrigerator running? You assume it is. How do you know it is? When was the last time you checked? There are some things we simply take for granted until we learn we can’t. For example the refrigerator.
When we returned from a nine-day trip last week, we took for granted that our refrigerator was working, and had been working for the duration of our trip. However, sometime during our absence, the refrigerator stopped working. It let us down.
The puddle under the ice dispenser and the warped wood under the water were warnings that things weren’t good. The smell of warm, decaying food that penetrated the room as soon as I opened the door confirmed it. The fridge was dead and had been dead for a while.
Now, the fridge is foremost in our minds. The price of a repair versus a new fridge, reviews of refrigerator brands, what options do we need, where should we shop, who has extended Labor Day sales, what about delivery dates and costs, and where do we store food in the meantime. I’m not sure I’ve ever thought so much about a refrigerator because I’ve never had to replace a broken one.
It is inevitable, we will be let down
As I sit here today listening to the floor repairman sawing out the damaged planks to put in new ones, so that the new fridge can be delivered in a couple of days, I am reminded that pretty much everything and everyone in our lives will let us down at some point. It is inevitable. Because we are human, and the things we make are made by humans, they will fail us eventually.
We take things for granted and assume our phones, cars, computers, televisions, and appliances will work when we press the power button until they don’t. And then we get frustrated, perhaps panic, and ultimately dread the ordeal of shopping to replace them.
We also take people for granted and assume that the people we love will give us the benefit of the doubt, stand by us, keep their word, and have our backs until they don’t. And then we are hurt, we feel betrayed, we get angry, and sometimes, we discard them, or replace them.
we place our trust in things that are imperfect. We place our hopes in people who are imperfect. We expect too much of things and we expect too much of people.
Only God will never let us down
There is only One, the Lord God Almighty, who will never let us down, will never fail to keep his word, and who is always working in the background for our good. Unfortunately, too often, we take him for granted; at least, I confess, I do. And, I hate that I do. Why do I? Why do we?
We (or maybe it’s just I) take God for granted when things are going well. Like my fridge, when it was working, I didn’t think about it. When things are working for my good in the background, when nothing is making a noise in my life or threatening my happiness, then it is really easy to not think about God throughout the day.
When hardship, tragedy, or failure happens, then God is all I think about. When life is not what we want it to be, that is when we turn to God; we pray, we seek his will, we beg him to change our circumstances, we might even bargain with him.
However, it is in difficulty, in suffering, in sorrow, that we discover God has always been and continues to be, working diligently in the background of our lives. He never stops working. He never lets us down. He never fails.
God’s own words remind us that God is ever at work on our behalf. God promises us that he is working for our good in every circumstance of our lives (Romans 8:28-29). He promises us that he will never leave us, nor will he forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). He promises us that he is faithful and that he will not let go of us, ever (1 Corinthians 1:8-9).
The most amazing thing is that God promises to love us, and he assures us that his love is unfailing (Psalm 36:7). God also promises us that nothing in the world — nothing in ourselves, in our failures, in our shortcomings – nothing can separate us from his love for us in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37-39).
When we are reminded of how much God loves us, of how much God is working for us, of how much God gave so that we might have eternal life with him (John 3:16), how arrogant is it that we, that I, should take him for granted.
I’m thinking I will check my new fridge often, vacuum the coils more frequently, and be more aware of it as I move forward. I want to know it is working, even when I don’t have to be aware of it working.
Will you commit with me to rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances to God, who is at work in our lives continually (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)? Will you commit to seek God’s hand, so that you are more aware of his work throughout your day each day? Will you, with me, commit to stop taking God for granted, and live in gratitude for his continual presence in your life?
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Marcia’s book, 365 Days of Grace — is currently available on any of the following links: