Last Christmas season, at about this time, we were sitting in my mom’s living room talking about our dead car. I might have given in to despair and tears -a complete failure to endure through the trial.
But the grace of God came to us, by way of a man with grease under his fingernails. He repaired the engine, and it has run like a top all year.
Then a few nights ago, our son called from the church, “Mom, the car won’t start.”
Really? The car dying again in the week before Christmas?
Except ha ha! This time was different for me. This time I had been chewing and chewing on Peter’s command to the believers:
…keep sober in spirit… (1 Peter 1:13 NASB)
Part of this sobriety means not allowing ourselves to be influenced by strong emotion. (Is this even possible for a woman? I asked myself. Alas, the verse seems to be directed to all believers, not just the rational menfolk.)
I sat on the steps in our house and considered the fate of our car. This time, instead of caving in to anxiety and feelings of hopelessness, I purposefully kept a calm spirit in reverence for the Lord. My favorite prayer came from my lips, “Lord, you know what we need here. You know exactly what we need, and I trust you will help.”
My knees bent in worship, and this was Christmas.
The next morning, Matt did some research and made a simple repair. The car started right up.
I thanked the Lord for the opportunity he had given me, by way of car trouble, to practice obedience to his word. What a joy to prove my faith in a trial -way better than my failed response last Christmas.
Come, they told me,
our newborn king to see.
Our finest gifts we bring,
to lay before the king.
May we bring the Lord a gift of sober, self-controlled spirits.
So to honor him
when we come.