About two months ago, I bought a “new” car. A white 2002 Volkswagen Jetta I named Rosalind. She was beautiful. Her heated leather seats kept me warm on cold mornings, her CD player kept me company on long drives, and her sunroof made the evening commute just a bit more enjoyable. I worked hard to take good care of her, making sure she got a bath every few weeks, checking her oil before road trips, vacuuming sand off her seats after a weekend at the beach. It was love.
Then, a few weeks ago, it all came to a sudden end. At the risk of making myself sound like a bad driver, I’ll spare you the details and just say that Rosalind was attacked (almost literally) by a median and totaled. I was heartbroken.
A few days after the accident, while I was still dealing with frustration and, I’ll admit it, a bit of anger, I remembered the words that Job speaks immediately after learning that everything he owns — his livestock, his house, and his children — are gone. The New Living Translation phrases his reply this way: “The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord.”
Every time I read this, I’m blown away by Job’s response. And as I thought about these words after losing my car, they actually brought me comfort. You see, Job’s not pointing the finger at God here. Rather, he’s recognizing God’s divine sovereignty. And he’s acknowledging that everything he owned came from the hand of God. Even with his world shattered, he chose to trust — and worship — God.
And by God’s grace, that’s what I’m doing too. You see, when life doesn’t go our way, we have the same choices Job did. We can blame God and decide that he’s out to get us or that he doesn’t care about our circumstances. Or, we can acknowledge that he is sovereign in all things and trust in his goodness
I’m comforted by joining Job in saying, “The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away,” because this declaration takes the power away from my possessions. It affirms that my trust is completely in God, whose goodness has proven unfailing — even in the midst of this situation.
God protected me and my passenger, he’s supplied the means for me to replace Rosalind, and he’s provided me with generous friends who are kind enough to lend me a vehicle while I car shop.
Rosalind wasn’t going to last forever. Accident or not, she was only temporary. And while I’m still bummed that she’s gone, I’m thankful that God used this situation to remind me that nothing I have is permanent. Living in this reality is actually freeing. It’s liberating, because it means that this situation doesn’t have the power to make or break me, and it reminds me that I live for something greater than temporal possessions — I live for a God whose goodness never fails.