The Double Bumps of Life

It was back during the Christmas season when parking lots were full and people were in a hurry that I came upon a situation and I wanted to help, but as it unfolded I just stepped back and let other folks do what they could.  Here is the scene.  A lady was leaving the parking lot, but she drove over one of those concrete strips that you see in parking lots when you pull into a parking spot and it keeps you from going any further.  Well, this one was in kind of a strange place in the parking lot and the lady had driven over it, but once her car went over, it got stuck on it and could not go any further.  She could not go forward and she could not go backward. It was just hung!  Now I was going over to her and the other lady that was in the car with her to try to see if I could help, when a man in a pickup drove up to the scene and he was obviously on a mission.  I assumed that it was her husband because the fellow started to explain to the lady that she was not supposed to drive over the concrete barrier.  I think that she had already figured that out before he arrived.  I also realized that I did not need to be a part of that discussion, but I wanted to explain to the lady that the situation she was in was so much like life – you come to a bump in life and you get over it only to find out that you have to get over another one.

Some days and in some ways it just seems as though life is filled with bumps, double bumps, triple bumps, and quadruple bumps.  Sometimes it looks like all of life is just one bump after another.  The Apostle Paul seems to have felt that way when the Lord had him writing II Corinthians 4:8-9.  While he talks about life being difficult, it is encouraging to know that this great spiritual giant of the New Testament also had the kind of tests, trials, and troubles like we do.  I think that Paul would have all of his readers and every one of us to understand that no one is immune from the difficulties of life.  Now while you may know that you are not immune, you probably think that there are some people that just never have any bumps or double bumps in life.  May I assure you that you are absolutely wrong.

It does not matter if you are talking about the super saints of life or the ragtag variety of sainthood like most of us are.  You are still going to have trials and troubles, pains and traumas that are a part of our human existence.  The great patient saint Job said, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble” (Job 14:1).   I do not believe that Job was just complaining or whining, I think that he was just stating the absolute reality of most of our lives.  Troubles, trials, and the tests of life as you move forward are just a natural part of our existence.

So often I think of the little boy who was struggling and trying to learn to tie his shoes.  He was a preschooler and his mom was trying to get him to learn to tie his shoes before he started to school.  He worked, struggled, twisted, and turned the laces until finally at last he had success.  He tied his shoes by himself for the very first time.  His mother who was watching this take place said, “That is wonderful!   I am so proud of you.”  The little boy looked up and started crying.  She said, “Son, why are you crying?”  He looked up at his mom and said, “Because for the rest of my life I am going to have to tie my shoes all by myself.”

Beyond reminding us that all of us are going to have problems in life, the Apostle Paul interjects that in the midst of all of that we can have the strength of God and we can be victorious.  Amazingly, God takes the lessons we learn from getting over one bump and then another and another and incorporates them into our life so that we will be stronger and more capable as we deal with the next bump of life.  The great Apostle Peter is probably best known for either sinking after walking on the water or for denying Jesus in the last hours of His life.  You know it is an interesting thing, although I have never heard a sermon on it and rarely have I had anybody even mention it, and most of us do not even think about it, but the reality is that neither one of those things ever happened again.  Not another time in Scripture or in history did Simon Peter ever deny his Lord.

I sometimes wonder if Peter might have had a discussion with the Gospel writers and asked them, “Guys, why did you put that in there?”  I wonder if he might not have asked them if they could just put one sentence in there saying, “But he never, ever did that again.”  For him, failure was not final and neither does it have to be that way for you.  In short order, the man who came to help the lady got the car off of the bump.  I was not standing around to watch it happen and do not know exactly what he did but in just a little while he was gone and the lady was free to be on her way too.

Maybe there are some big obstacles that you have stumbled over or driven over lately and you are kind of hung up on the bumps in your life.  The Lord will help you and you can get up, get moving, and continue in life if you will.  The Lord will not leave you stranded.  He will free you and lead you forward.  Just remember regardless of how many bumps you may be experiencing in your life, His grace is sufficient to bring you over every one of them.

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Jim Futral
Executive Director-Treasurer