Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

07/17/2019

Randall Caselman 

Thumps and Bumps

 

  When the potter takes a pot out of the kiln, he checks it by thumping it with his forefinger. If it 'sings,' it’s ready. If it ‘thuds,’ he puts it back in to bake some more. Daddy used to check a watermelon in the same way, by thumping. Here it is, human character is checked in the same way, by thumps and bumps: Phone calls at three a.m. in the morning, burnt meals, flat tires on the interstate, blackberry cobbler on a white shirt, grouchy teachers, insensitive bosses; on-and-on we could go. Sometimes thumps and bumps in the road trigger the worst in us. They aren’t big enough to be a crisis, but if they come too close together, watch out! We lose our cool, even our religion. Morning traffic jams, long lines at the grocery store or in the bank, empty mailboxes, full mailboxes, dirty cloths strewn on the floor, lights left on, teens coming home after midnight: Thump. Thump. Bump. Bump.

 

  The question becomes: How do we respond? Jesus tells us that the mouth speaks what is stored up in the heart. We have a choice how we respond to daily thumps and bumps. How do we react?

 

  Let’s review some Scriptures that remind us of a correct response to life’s everyday problems for those who are attempting to have the heart, mind, disposition, and behavior of Jesus.

 

James 1.2-4… “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything…”

 

2 Corinthians 4.17… “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”

 

1 Peter 1.6-7… “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

 

  Indeed, there is nothing that reveals the true shape and nature of our heart any more than how we deal with life’s thumps and bumps. What we need to understand is that God is at work in them providing us with a blessing.

 

James 1.12… “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

 

Isaiah 43.2… “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

 

1 Peter 2.19-21… “It is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God... If you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.”

 

  And let us never forget that in all our thumps and bumps, God is at work molding, reshaping, remaking us; working for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.Amen?

 

—RANDALL CASELMAN