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Paul Gordon Collier- January 28th- 2013- My crashed life and the Rest of the Lord

Today has been a challenge for me that should have been a lot more of a challenge than what it is.  In the scale of things, my challenge is small, but in the flesh, this would be a difficult time, a time that could have even led to meltdowns, angry bursts, frustrations, darkness, depression.

I love my Chevy HHR.  It is my favorite car I’ve ever owned.  If you don’t know the HHR, it is kind of 40s retro styled.  This past Thursday I wrecked my car.  The accident was basically my fault (there were some strange circumstances around it and maybe futurely I will go into that).

My wife’s car is also experiencing difficulties and right now she has to rent a car to get to work, at a time when we really can’t afford such things.

This is a very trying time for us.  We have taxes coming up.  This is a classic time for me to go through dark times, to be governed by fear and frustration.

Today, I got the news that my HHR was totaled out.  We will get some money, but not nearly as much money as we spent on this car.  This car was JUST paid off not more than 2 months ago.  We got the title to the car last month.

I should be so upset.  On the night I wrecked my car, I checked myself to see how I might be challenged by this, challenged to seek to be a witness to Christ and His Kingdom during this time, when life, by my somewhat spoiled standards, was in upheaval and great uncertainty.

When I checked myself, I found that my car was a source of pride I did not know I had.  I let go of my car that night, still feeling I would probably get it back (did not expect it to be totaled out).

That night I could not sleep.  I was tense with pressure.  At one point, the stress in my chest was overbearing.  I was becoming a tight, clinched fist, at risk of perhaps killing myself with stress.  I was seeking God the whole time, praying to Him, and I challenged my wife to praise God with me that night before I went to sleep.  I testified to my daughter Nela that though I was going through this, I was singing God’s praises and thanking Him for the opportunity to reflect His Kingdom during this time, as a fruit, as a witness to the power of my faith in His Kingdom.

I did everything ‘right’ that night, and yet as I lay in bed I was still stressed, to the point of literally feeling I was going to cause myself to have a stroke or a heart attack as the stress was building.  There was a rubber band around my waist getting tighter and tighter, threatening to explode my heart and my brain.

I made a commitment.  I thought about the next day, the great uncertainty, the calls I’d have to make (I can’t stand making ‘official’ calls), the news I’d have to face.  I made this commitment.  I would seek that next day to pursue whatever I was to do with excellence, with a focus on making my pursuit of excellence my worship of God, to make that day a worship day for God.

So I did this, and my day was…..strangely……a glorious day.

I allowed myself to leave the concerns of this stress on Saturday and Sunday, but today, I was back in the potential stress.  I had no struggles getting to sleep the night before from this stress.  I entered into this day, waking up with a conviction to worship God in all I did today.

At about 4 this afternoon I got the call that the car was totaled out.  Yes, I was disappointed.  But I tell you the truth, I was not stressed.  I am not being governed by my stress.  There is still some of it there to be sure, but it is such a pale expression of what it would normally be.

I had a good night with my daughter goofing with her.  I had words of encouragement for my wife in dealing with her work.  We had a good night as a family.  It would have been very different if I had been governed by my stress, my fear, my uncertainty.

Entering into each task before me with that ongoing commitment to make everything I do a worship of God is freeing me from the flesh’s tumult.  I am being born still, daily, dying to my flesh and living closer in Christ.

It was a great day in my walk with the Lord.  Friday was an awesome day in my walk with the Lord.  Saturday was a fantastic day in my walk with the Lord.  Sunday was a terrific day in my walk with the Lord.  I thank God still for this opportunity to be tested and to experience the full grace and glory of God even when, in earth sense, everything should have seemed broken and dark.

This is why He calls us to walk daily in His Kingdom.  This is why I burn to see the Kingdom grow in the hearts of the people around me, from heart to living room, from living room to work, from work to neighborhoods, from neighborhoods to cities, from cities to nations.

I will include this video at the end from Pastor Mike Yeager’s great experiment in Chambersburg PA- every day, three times a day, there are sermons and teachings being delivered and posted on Youtube- one of those teachings is from Bruce Allen- it is on Entering into God’s Rest- and I post it because after I watched it I realized that is what I have been doing- that is why I am experiencing joy and growth and love in Christ while I go through this- I am entering into God’s rest and HE is doing the work for me- Amen!

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I'm sorry to hear about your car, but it's good that at least you're getting some money back for it. I know what you mean about taxes, too! That church broadcast is neat. I like these Journey journal entries! I remember writing in that brown leather community journal at the Berguson's house, now it's gone digital :)

thanks Valia- I remember that journal! 

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