Last night while we were out enjoying a lovely dinner with friends, a wild storm came up. The wind was blowing, there was lightning and thunder, and sheets of rain coming down hard. By the time we left (the moment the resident 4-year-old hit her oops-we-missed-her-bedtime meltdown), the rain had stopped.
We pulled into our driveway and were caught up short. There was a huge tree limb in the space the car usually sits. It had come off a tree that stands right next to the driveway.
But, while the tree limb was coming down, our car was in our friends' driveway and we were eating delicious fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, and green beans so delicious my kids asked for more. Or, maybe we were on the blueberry cobbler at the time the tree fell.
It doesn't matter where we were; it matters where the car wasn't: under the tree. Crushed. It would have been totaled. And it's an old car; even if the insurance does cover tree-crashing, we wouldn't get enough to buy another car.
We just stood there gaping and marveling at God's providence to us. This was even better, way better, than the free cheese I came across earlier this week. A huge blessing.
As we cleaned up today I thought about this blessing. I thought about people I know who might scoff at my thankfulness and bring up all the terrible things people endure: devastating illness, the loss of a child, foreclosure and homelessness. Why doesn't God fix those things? Why bother with the small stuff, like cheese and cars?
I came to this conclusion: in these small things, God reminds us that he is in control. And that he does take care of us, in big things and small. We just have to remember that in his care, he allows unpleasant, difficult events and circumstances along with the blessings.
This might not be so easy for me to say if I had, say, a child dying of cancer or was in the midst of losing my home. I don't have any insurmountable trials to endure right now, which is not to say I have no trials at all.
But in my experience, even people undergoing great trials see small things as blessings too. And these small gifts from God help them to go on.
So I am very thankful for the providence that caused us to be out when the tree fell apart. And I will add that to my list of blessings to remember, when I am in a situation that causes me to wonder how much God really cares.