“Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” – James 1:3.
I had what I call a ‘God sighting’ last week. This is an experience rooted in one of the most mundane and frustrating experiences of adulthood…car trouble. I drive an older van. With five kids, it is no secret that pennies matter and lots of seating is needed so when I find a vehicle that meets our needs, I hold onto it as long as possible.
Last fall, that beautiful Tang orange glow light came on indicating that my engine needed servicing soon. For days I meant to have it checked but something always came up. I know I should have made it a priority but the truth is…I just didn’t. The days became weeks and before I knew it, I had been driving around for a couple of months with the service engine soon light on. At that point, I figured it had to be nothing since Ole ‘Bugsy’ was still running just fine. As with older vehicles, other minor/interesting things began to falter such as:
- The driver’s side passenger door would no longer work. No big deal, the passenger’s side, side door still worked fine and the kids were young, they could crawl over.
- The gas gauge only gives you an accurate reading when you first start the vehicle. After that it slowly sways back and forth as if holding a lighter in the air at some hair band concert.
- The driver’s side window switch would no longer operate to put the front passenger side window down, however; the switch would work to put the window up. Funny isn’t it? The passenger side switch operated the window just fine… so what if I needed to lean over to put the window down. It was cold and didn’t need to go down anyway.
- I was told that my passenger side break light wasn’t working but when I went to have it replaced, the light was working just fine. I love it when things gone untended fix themselves!
- Here is an interesting one; the right turn signal would not work when I pressed on the brake! No break = right turn signal working just fine but as soon as I pushed down on that pedal, the flashing light would simply just stay on.
- This one, I have found, is the most hysterical to those willing to listen to this story….I would be sitting at a red light, stop sign or what have you and the horn would just randomly honk! This one hurt me physically on more than one occasion as I did not know your heart could jump! Seriously. Picture it. You are alone in your van. You are the only at the intersection. In fact, you don’t see another soul anywhere. You have one hand on the wheel and the other tucked between your legs because it is five degrees out and the heat isn’t the best so your own body heat is what keeps your fingers from getting frost bite on the way to work. You sit there, waiting for the light to turn and BEEP. You look around and you are alone. You question whether or not you hit the horn and try to replicate the issue only to find you can’t get the horn to honk at all!
All of these wonderful things were just little idiosyncrasies that made my van special to me. Sure others may think it was junk but mechanically, it was and is dependable. I just basically learned to live with all the little special needs without much thought.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – I Thessalonians 5:18
Side Note: I recently started a bible study group using Facebook as the discussion tool and communication method. Just so you understand why this is pertinent, the topic currently being studied was the difference of having faith (believing God’s word) and being faithful (living God’s word). I had just resolved to work harder at being faithful.
Then came what seemed like the final draw. I was done with Ole Bugsy and even started some online shopping for a newer vehicle. Because of the birthday blessing that is renewing your license and getting a new sticker for Ole Bugsy, my lunch hour was just about up. Since I was close to McDonald’s, I decided to run through and grab something I could scarf down on the way back to the office. Seems like a simple enough pleasure, sure.
I place my order, get my food and head out. I go to put my window up only to find that it would not budge. In fact, there was no reaction from the switch at all. No moaning, creaking, nothing. Here is the kicker…because it was so cold, I didn’t put the window all the way down when I went through the drive-thru. My window was only about half-way down and would not go up. I did discover; however, upon fooling with it trying to get it to go up, that the option to continue putting it down still worked just fine! Needless to say, by the end of that adventure the window was almost all the way down with no hope in going back up. Super.
This was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I started shopping that night as soon as I got home. Hubby couldn’t fix the window so it was inevitable that we were going to have to take it to the shop to at least get it put back up again until Spring! However, the shops were closed and the window would be covered in plastic until the beautiful drive the next morning.
For those who know me, you know that I have naturally, super curly hair. The only way to keep the curls and avoid a rat’s nest of frizz is to wash/condition the mop every morning. Sooo, off to work I go. With wet hair. With the window down. With an average temp of -1 degree. I enjoy writing. I do not claim to be a great writer and therefore cannot begin to describe that miserable, artic ride to work. Let’s just say my hair was actually frozen the entire trip and once I reentered a heated environment, my entire body burned as it came back to life from its frozen state.
Now, being faithful is easy to do when life is all butterflies and rainbows but when it is below zero and you have to drive 20 miles with wet hair and the window down, faith tends to easily blow out that window allowing doubt and despair plenty of room to come in and get cozy. However (I say as I raise a determined finger to the air), I refused to let go of my faith. I still prayed on the way to work as I normally do (this time through chattering teeth) and I let God know that I trusted him and I knew he had everything under control so I simply wasn’t going to concern myself with the matter until he showed me what to do. I did my best to be faithful and I admit it was not easy.
To wrap this story up, I took the van to the shop in which God revealed himself to me in everyway short of smacking me upside the head. The mechanic gurus did their thing. When I went to get the van, here is what I was told in a nutshell.
Water got into the break light (remember the one that worked and was miraculously healed?). The water froze causing damage to the wires that live behind the scenes. The wires shorted out causing a lot of the electrical issues I was experiencing. The scary part was, the wires were burnt. They actually turned to powder when the mechanic touched them and he didn’t understand how the van had not already caught on fire from this. They fixed all that and really stressed how big of a deal that was and how it HAD TO BE FIXED or it would surely catch on fire in the future.
As I drove the van back to work (now with the windows working and currently in the ‘up’ position), I thought about it all. I thought about all the little problems the van had accumulated in the past six months or so and how lucky I was that nothing happened to my family or I during all those trips to church, ball games, work, etc. That is when I realized luck had nothing to do with it. I had several things going on that should have been looked at and I just didn’t. I honestly believe that God made that window not go up so I would finally do something. He knows I can’t stand the cold so what sure fire way to get me to take that van to a mechanic than to freeze me out! Had that van not been looked at who knows….can’t bear the thought. Once I realized God’s hand in this whole ordeal, I was of course humbled but overwhelmed by his presence and spent the rest of the ride back to work in prayer and tears.
To sum this all up, this experience only confirms my faith and has motivated me to work harder at being faithful. God bless!
**This blog is based on my own personal research, thoughts and opinions. If your opinions differ than mine then we can agree to disagree, no negative comments needed. If you appreciate the message in anyway, then please feel free to comment, like, and share with others. **