Letting Go and Letting God?
Theology and Politics from a Conservative, Biblical Perspective
Either I’m experiencing more trials than normal or it simply seems that way due to my study in the book of James. It’s pretty much been one thing after another. Whether it’s helping my wife cope with the after effects of her recent surgery, dealing with the purchase of a newer vehicle or now dealing with the roof of our home that has sustained wind/hail damage and having to negotiate the insurance company because of it, things seem to be coming one after the other.
I’m not complaining. If I compare my situation with millions of others, it probably pales in significance. That said, it is still difficult for me to know how to negotiate these circumstances. All I can do is press on in prayer, trusting that the Lord will see me through even though I do not know how each of these will conclude. I approach each with prayer and trust that the Lord is going to provide the needed insight and wisdom to help me come to the end of each situation. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy because of my personality that wants to take control.
Regarding my wife, she is certainly recovering from her recent surgery, but not fast enough for her liking. She left the hospital with one drain embedded under her skin, whereas after the first surgery, she had four drains, though one was removed before they released her home. I can only imagine how uncomfortable it is to have a plastic/vinyl tube sticking out of your body from which fluids drain. In essence, there is a small hole under her arm. When we saw doctor last week, he was thinking that the drainage might be removed today, Monday. That was not to be, so it might be Wednesday. If not then, it’ll be another day. My wife – bless her – has a difficult time slowing down and taking it easy. She is a woman who just does things and I’m having to constantly remind her to stop doing things and I can do them for her instead. Half the time she is already doing things by the time I realize that she shouldn’t be.
With respect to our car, after we bought it, it was a week before we took delivery of it. We finally got the car though without any paperwork whatsoever including no temporary tag/license plate. I contacted the dealer and he emailed me a picture of the tag which I printed out and affixed to the car so that it was at least legal to drive.
However, it was still four days before I received any paperwork. When I did received it, I saw a bunch of charges on it that I had no knowledge of and were totally confusing. One charge was for $1059 for “etching,” another $1000 for something else and $405 for something labeled “nitrogen.” The only thing I remember okaying was the actual service agreement for $2900, which extended the warranty to cover the entire power-train for the 2014 Toyota Highlander we had purchased.
Looking at all the charges was very frustrating. In fact, I had recalled that the charge labeled “nitrogen” had originally been $701, but was now $405. The salesman told me that whenever they take any car onto the lot, they empty out the air from all four tires and fill them with nitrogen. For HUNDREDS of dollars?!
I was very concerned and thought I had been ripped off so I spent some time praying and not sleeping; praying and not sleeping. My son-in-law was ready to go to bat for me because he had worked in the auto industry as a service rep for years. I thanked him but asked him to let it go.
The next morning, I woke up and knew that I would have to drive to the dealer and ask some serious questions, one and a half hours south of me. I had contacted the salesman who told me he was “working on” getting an answer for me, but I heard nothing.
I went down there, asked to speak with the general manager and expressed my frustration. I point blank told him I did not recall okaying these purchases. To his credit, he moved quickly to help me and eventually, four hours later (the business manager was very busy with other customers, so I waited), they came to me with new paperwork and a payment of approximately $35-40 less per month. I also talked to my salesman who promised me that I would receive a $50 gift card in the mail since he had told me the car would be beautifully detailed but wasn’t when I took delivery of it. I’m supposed to receive it by October 30, so we’ll see.
I drove away though sensing that God had been with me, had kept me calm and things worked out to my betterment. I didn’t have to think about going back to apologize because I didn’t lose my cool and clearly, the Lord blessed my efforts. I had been a bit angry but had no sinned, for which I was grateful.
Now we have another situation with respect to the roof of our home. Several months ago, we had a contractor come into fix some leaks. We spent about $500 for that and he wound up coming back twice to fix everything. It turns out, these leaks could’ve begun forming way back in 2017 with Hurricane Irma, but it wasn’t until June of 2019 that another storm came through and cemented the damage with hail and wind. We were not here at the time but it was shortly after this that three leaks opened up; one above one of our kitchen bay windows, one above the wood-burning fireplace chimney and one other area. That is what we had the contractor take care of. At the time, he indicated that we should have our roof seriously inspected for weather damage though he himself had no time to put a new roof on for us as he was at least two to three months out working on other projects. He had squeezed us in for this repair.
Based on his comments, we brought a roofing contractor in to inspect the roof. He found numerous places across our roof that had been clearly hit by hail, to the point that some shingles had layers separated down to the fiberglass threading. He also found wind damage. He suggested I put in a claim with our insurance company, which I did.
The insurance company hired an “independent third party” (which is an oxymoron, since the insurance company paid that company for their inspection services), to inspect our roof. Interestingly enough the inspector was as certain that we had NO hail/wind damage as the contractor was sure we HAD hail/wind damage. In fact, the contractor, without realizing it, wound up supporting the comments of the first contractor and they do not know each other nor had they conferred.
The inspector said that what the contractor said was “hail/wind” damage was actually nothing more than “blistering.” The problem though is that there are obvious “dings/dents” on our gutters, on the top of the fireplace enclosure on the roof and elsewhere on metal portions, etc. The inspector said he uses specific criterion like whether or not there are hail marks on downspouts or on screens. The problem is that I’ve replaced sections of downspouts and nearly all the screens across the front of the house at our expense.
Suffice it to say that I’ve submitted all the pictures to the adjuster that the contractor took along with additional pictures that I took. He’ll make a final decision after he receives the report from the roof inspector. If it comes back “denied,” I’ve already told the insurance adjuster that I will request a re-inspection of our roof because the damage is so obvious even to me and I’m not a roofer.
But where is this article leading? Well, there are three scenarios that we are going through currently and in each one of those cases, God has a plan, a specific direction that He wants to take us in that will bring about our growth and His glory.
Before we bought the newer vehicle, I had no idea what I would encounter. How would the Lord work? How would He guide and direct? Just making a decision to buy a newer vehicle was difficult. Why did He allow me to have to go through what I went through with the car? Should I have simply “let go” and “let God” for the outcome?
With respect to my wife’s surgery and recovery, why does it appear that it’s taking longer than expected for her to heal? Or, is it taking longer than it should? Maybe it’s right on God’s schedule. How do we approach this?
What about our roof? Why is it that God didn’t simply sign the “approved” letter with respect to a replacement roof? Why am I having to go through this and possibly end up with no new roof even though it’s clear that there is hail/wind damage to the roof?
As far as my wife is concerned, there’s really nothing either of us can do to make her heal quicker. We can pray. I can do more for her so that she doesn’t overdo it. But God has control of the length of time it’ll take to heal.
With respect to the car, I could’ve let all that go and not worried at all about any of it, right? OR, I could’ve done what I did and if I came up against a brick wall. In the end, I was prepared to simply at that point say, “Fine Lord, this is apparently what you want and I am willing to receive it, in your Name for your glory.” I believe the Lord led me through that situation and provided me with a great conclusion. He kept my emotions in check and honored Him through it.
What about the roof? I’m in the same boat, aren’t I? I can do what I can do ensuring that I won’t have to apologize for saying something stupid or offensive and in the end, ultimately, I know that it is in the Lord’s hands. If for some reason, the request for a new roof is not approved and I have another inspection done and it is still not approved, then I believe I will have to let it go, trusting that the Lord’s will has been accomplished.
James says to count it all joy (James 1) when we experience many and diverse trials because this forces us to go to God, to depend upon Him and grow in His grace, strength and patience (James 1:3). Ultimately, this is what I think being a Christian is all about, isn’t it?
Matthew 18:18 says, “Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (ESV)
When I was in the Charismatic Movement, the above verse was unfortunately taken out of context to mean that we just “let go” and “let God.” Jesus was referring to the Church and the leadership within the church and what they should do when they have to deal with problems within the local church. He wasn’t advocating a “do nothing and let go of everything” mentality. There are some things we have to do.
Situations always need to be fought in the realm of prayer. But at times, we need to actually do some things beyond prayer that force our faith to be stretched and strengthened even though we may not have full knowledge of where we are going. This is what Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night He was betrayed and arrested. He prayed that God would remove “this cup” – nevertheless not Jesus’ will but the Father’s be accomplished.
In every situation we face as Christians, we must proceed bathed in prayer, always prepared to come to a point where nothing more can be done. It is at that point, we let go and trust that God has accomplished what He has chosen to accomplish. It doesn’t mean we do nothing. It means we proceed slowly, with caution, trusting the Lord to guide us in heart, thought, word and direction. When it appears as though we can go no further, we must then trust that for now at least, God has brought us as far as He wants to in that particular situation.
God bless you as you endeavor to navigate the Christian life in your daily walk.
Theology and Politics from a Conservative, Biblical Perspective
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