I never even saw the car coming. It was around 7am on a Saturday and I had jumped in my minivan to drive five minutes down the road to pick up Starbucks coffee. 

I never even saw the car coming. It was around 7am on a Saturday and I had jumped in my minivan to drive five minutes down the road to pick up Starbucks coffee.

Grant had a grueling schedule that year. He was juggling seminary classes and two jobs, I wanted to surprise him with hot coffee and breakfast. 

“Mom can I come with you?” my oldest begged before I left the house. 

“No, stay here with Daddy” I whispered. “I promise I will be right back.” 

“Mama!”, my other toddler came out of her room wanting me. I picked her up to snuggle her and immediately realized she had wet the bed. 

I sighed. Again?! I had just put fresh sheets on the night before and now I would have to do it all again. And had I put the waterproof mattress cover back on yesterday? No I hadn’t. It would need a good mattress scrubbing and airing out too. 

“Go snuggle with Daddy, I will be right back” I told her.

My girls ran into the bedroom to snuggle their dad and I slipped out the door. 

I connected my cell phone to the speaker system after I got in and cranked up the heat. A song I had been listening to last time came on, MY GOD, MY FATHER, BLISSFUL NAME. Whate’er Thy sacred will ordains, O give me strength to bear; And let me know my Father reigns, And trust His tender care.”

I sang the words as I approached the red light and sat for a few moments, praying and singing in my heart. It was cold out. It was beautiful out. The light went green and my singing heart didn’t check both ways before I pulled out into the intersection. 

Next thing I knew my world was swirling. All I could see was brown spinning. What was happening? Lord am I dying? After a moment I opened my eyes.

Where was I? Things began to come together as my mind raced into clarity. My van was in the middle of the intersection. Someone was at my door banging on the glass.

“Ma’am! Are you OK?” Someone else was screaming. “She ran the red light! That woman was on her phone and she ran the red light.”

I saw a woman in another vehicle get out of her car. People were yelling at her. I felt a tingling sensation and reached up and touched my hair and felt blood but no pain.

Then I realized what had happened. Someone had run the red light and hit me. I looked behind me to see my car had been tossed. Tears streamed down my face, God thank you I left the kids at home. It hurt so much to imagine my three little ones in the back seat. But they weren’t in the backseat.

Someone was standing at the car trying to ask me something, “Miss, are you okay? I see blood. Miss?!”

In that moment I couldn’t speak or answer. I only had one thought, “God please let me go home and change my little girl’s sheets.” 

Those sheets. Those precious wet sheets. How had I ever scorned them? How had I ever dreaded changing them? I would do anything to be there right now. God please give me more years to change wet sheets!

With the help of a paramedic I managed to get out of my van and call Grant as I got into the ambulance. “I’m OK,” I said as I tried weakly to describe what had happened. “I’m going to the hospital but I’m OK.”

And I was OK. Three staples to the head later (ouch), and a mild concussion, but no permanent physical damage. Just permanent heart change. 

I realized that day in the intersection that I hadn’t been grateful for the mundane tasks of mothering. I was taking the joy of having little ones to care for for granted. 

I wish I could say that day washed away all my pride and that I never dreaded a mundane task again, but I can tell you it was a good start. 

That incredibly hard moment forever changed my perspective of the mundane. 
And that’s how God works so often doesn’t He? 

He uses the hard things to change our perspective. To grow us. To show us our sin and help us realize His blessings. The hard things are what soften us when we are willing to let Him work and accept what He is doing in our lives. 

2020 has been a hard year for so many. But the amazing thing for the Christian is that we know that God uses the hard things to do great things. He uses hard truths to soften our hard hearts. He uses difficulty to smack us on the head and wake us up and help us realize that He hasn’t given up on us, He is changing us.

I don’t have to pretend the hard things aren’t hard, but what I want to do is allow God to change me through them. To soften my heart like never before. To help me see in a way I never have before. To serve in a way I never have before. To love in a way I never have before. And most days, that begins with the mundane.

For isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Our God made low, to lift us up. Emmanuel God with us.

2 thoughts on “How God Uses Hard Things

  1. Thank you for sharing… so thankful you had a hedge of protection around you during the accident as our Lord protected you.

    Thank you for pointing out and reminding that our Lord uses hard things to change our perspective.

  2. Oh, how I needed this right now. I will forever praise God for another day of changing wet sheets, never ending laundry and much, much more.

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