Tuesday, November 30, 2021

The radiator, the reminder, and Emmanuel

Knocks sounded from the direction of the car engine, and Jerry and I gave each other a look. In a moment, steam seeped from around the edges of the hood. The temperature gage read “H.” We rolled over into a convenience store parking lot and tried to get a glimpse of the road signs in the dark cause in the north Atlanta sprawl, we had no idea where we were. We didn't know yet our radiator had just exploded, either.

I sat there a moment reflecting on the past four days. It was almost comical. Earlier in the week, I’d developed a low-level infection which I was still battling, then we’d found weevils or some sort of critter in a pantry and had to spend time we really didn’t have emptying the entire thing. The next day, we received an unexpected bad news letter. Then a routine screening for cancer seemed to go south and there was a tense twenty-four hour wait for what turned out to be negative results. Now this trip to celebrate our granddaughter’s birthday had a wrench thrown in it. The self-pity boat threatened to head into port.

 I pulled out my phone to contact roadside assistance and Jerry phoned our daughter to drive what turned out to be around twenty miles to get us.

A quote from Charles Stanley I heard a few days before kept drifting into my mind, “Thanksgiving reminds us we are walking in the presence of God.” I remembered that none of the events of the past week were unexpected for God, and he would help us navigate them. Though still present, the infection was waning, we’d gotten rid of the weevils, the bad news letter was something God would help us deal with one step at a time, and thank the Lord, the cancer diagnosis was negative. Circumstances might not always turn out the way we want but God would still be with us. We were blessed beyond measure in so many ways. We were in the presence of God.

In a surprising turn, the tow truck driver was only two minutes away. And though the next day involved many hours of driving because we had to borrow a car for an appointment at home and then return, the man who owned the repair shop was one of the kindest persons ever. His Christian faith was so clear in his demeanor. He helped to turn an exploded radiator into a joyful experience. In addition, God provided for the repair expense in an unexpected and most appreciated way.

Some of you may be having one of those weeks or days, too, when it feels like the enemy has pelted you with an entire sack of rocks. Maybe you’re aching from the bruises, but there is a bigger picture than just the one in front of you. If we can turn our hearts to God, even in difficulties, it will often help give us the eyes to see how God has already been at work in amazing ways.

As we turn the corner from Thanksgiving into advent, we pray for greater vision to recognize Emmanuel, God with us, and give Him thanks that He came, and that we are in His presence, no matter what is exploding around us.

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means ‘God with us’). (Matthew 1:23).

 Beverly Varnado is the author of several small town romances from Anaiah Press including her latest, A Season for Everything. All are available at Amazon. A memoir, Faith in the Fashion District,  from Crosslink Publishing  is available wherever books are sold.  Also consider her other books, Give My Love to the Chestnut Trees and Home to Currahee. She also has an Etsy Shop, Beverly Varnado Art. 

To explore the web version of One Ringing Bell, please visit bev-oneringingbell.blogspot.com

Beverly Varnado copyright 2021



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