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On the Other Side of the Border

Paul Tripp
Paul Tripp

So there I was in Toronto, rushing through immigration to catch a plane back home. I got to the other side of the border and realized that I'd left my PDA/Cellphone in the rental car I'd just returned. I started to go back for it and realized that I couldn't go back across the border. I called the rental car agency and told them what had happened (identifying my account number and rental car). They told me that I was mistaken, that nothing had been left in the car. The problem wasn't that I couldn't make calls, the problem was that this piece of technology is my brain!

I immediately bowed my head and thanked the Lord for his sovereignty, this trial, and the sanctification that would result. If you believed that, I have a heavily populated island in New York that I would like to sell you! I was so frustrated. I wanted to blame someone, anyone. "It was the rental car guy's fault," I reasoned. "If he hadn't told me to disconnect the GPS, I wouldn't have become distracted and I wouldn't have forgotten my phone!" What was I going to do for the next couple days? How would I keep track of my schedule?

The next day I called the cellphone insurance people only to find out that I needed a Toronto police department report and an officer badge number before they would process my claim for a new phone. Now, I was even more frustrated. How long would this thing go on before I got a usable phone with my needed information on it?

Telling this story really is quite embarrassing. I talk to people all the time about the security and rest that can be found in the sovereignty of God. I tell people all the time that God will take them where they don't want to go in order to produce in them what they couldn't achieve on their own. I teach again and again that God is much more committed to our holiness than he is to delivering our personal definition of happiness.

But I've had to face the fact once again that I don't want God to be sovereign, I want to be. And there are moments when I don't want to be made holy. I would much rather have life be predictable and comfortable, thank you. I don't want to experience the hardships of uncomfortable grace even though I know I still need to grow and change.

So, once again I've confessed to the idolatry that is behind my anger. I've confessed how much I worship at the altars of comfort and control. And I've prayed that some day, by God's powerful and patient grace, that I'd be on the other side of the border where I'd treasure God's work of grace inside of me more than I treasure the ease of the world outside of me. I'm not there yet, but I'm closer than I was last year. How about you? 

 
Originally published November 21, 2011.

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