May 29, 2015 • By Ed Wrather
And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. - 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NKJV.
Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become. - 2 Corinthians 12:10 MSG.
Joseph T. Brennan, Jr. had an accident, sort of. Brennan describes the cause of his accident by saying: “I lit a cigarette with the gunpowder in the front seat.” The cigarette ignited the gunpowder, and then, BOOM!, there was an explosion. He reportedly told the police, “I wasn’t going to do anything malicious.” The explosion blew out the car windshield along with other car windows, and blew Brennan out of his car. He suffered burns, and his hair was singed. Officers searched his car, searched his house, and charged him with one count of possession of components of a destructive device and three counts of possession of a destructive device. Police officials say that Brennan did not have malicious intent, and his neighbors were not in any danger. Well, unless he decided to smoke a cigarette at his house. (Patriot Ledger 04.14.15)
Joseph Brennan was the source of his accident; however, many of us simply encounter unexpectedly things that just happen. James Crawford was on his way to work in New Jersey in 2012 when the operator of a construction crane allowed a gigantic steel beam to float into the traffic stream. The beam ripped off the entire top of Crawford's van. Crawford suffered a few cuts and a broken thumb. Morgan Lake in 2013 was on her way to visit relatives when her accident occurred. It was not her fault that a large semi-truck did not slow down, and pushed Morgan's car off of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The windshield and the driver's side window had been shattered by the impact, and the car plunged three stories into the bay. The vehicle quickly began to sink; Morgan unbuckled her seat belt, somehow got out of the shattered driver's side window, and swam to the surface. She suffered only bruises from her accident.
These accidents that I have mentioned are only a few of the millions of things that happen to people every day. Some accidents are caused by our own carelessness, or the carelessness of others. The cause of some accidents, are hard to explain. Of course the crash of a plane on a routine flight in the Congo, was easy to determine. Someone had brought a small crocodile onto the plane. The pilot and 18 passengers were killed in the crash. The crocodile escaped from the bag it was in, and the passengers panicked; stampeding forward, they caused the plane to plummet to the ground. There was one survivor, and he reportedly took care of the crocodile with a machete before exiting the remains of the plane (Mailonline 07.23.14).
Every day on Planet Earth, there are millions, perhaps billions of good and bad things that happen. This is a fact of life, and the proof of this is all around us. These good and bad things happen not only to non-believers, but also to believers. The message from God through the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12 in part is that we should not let these things that happen hinder our service to the Lord. Through the writer of Ecclesiastes God gives us a similar message: “If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth; and if a tree falls to the south or the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie. He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap (Ecclesiastes 11:3-4 NKJV).” The message is the same; don’t let the things that happen on this earth prevent you from sowing a crop. Continue on living the Christian life, share the gospel, and sow the seeds of Truth (John 14:6) everywhere and every time you possibly can.