Normally I sleep through my husband's alarm but that was not the case this morning. Personally, I have no desire to be up at 5:00 a.m. unless I have to! I quickly turned over and went back to sleep until the phone rang a little over an hour later.
When I heard relief in my husband's voice on the other end of the line, I wondered for a moment if he'd been in an accident. He must have thought I'd think that because he quickly assured me he hadn't. However... he was stranded. He had just taken an exit off the freeway and turned onto a city street when he heard an awful noise and his car went dead and rolled to a stop. He managed to pull it over to the curb and had just called AAA. Could I come and get him?
I arrived about 25 minutes later. The poor man. It was was 15F/-9C with a windchill of 0F/-18C. He was cold. Very cold. With my help we managed to move the car a bit more as it was sitting at a bus stop. I was a bit worried when I got a whiff of a terrible stench and I feared the worst. A few minutes later, the tow truck arrived. He walked around the car and then pointed out to my husband something he did not like. In the dim light, there was a possibility he'd just picked up something but it looked like...
The tow truck driver was right. What he had seen piercing the oil pan was a broken rod and the engine was destroyed. The price to replace the engine was, well, suffice it to say parts and labor were more than the value of our nearly 11 years old Saturn.
This is the part where normally people get a strange look on their face. Their eyes bulge out, they wring their hands and might even emit a scream or two. My husband and I are not "normal". We looked at each other and remembered that we have a Heavenly Father who takes care of us. We had been eating breakfast at a nearby restaurant when we got the bad news. We bowed our heads and once again thanked God that He had kept my husband safe and we asked Him to help us find a replacement vehicle.
As we finished eating breakfast, I said, "Maybe after breakfast we could see if Rick is working today." Rick goes to our church and is a salesman at a local Toyota dealership. We'd done business with him when I replaced my car last May. "I don't know if they have anything in our price range (we're on a tight budget) but I think we could afford to pay this much for a car." I had spent months doing research before I purchased my car so I had a fairly accurate idea of what the expected payments would be at that price.
The dealership wasn't opened yet but it would be by the time we got there. We finished our breakfast and headed off to look for another car.
When we arrived at the dealership minutes after it had opened, who did we see across the room? Rick. After greeting us, we quickly filled him in on what had happened. Then we told him our price range and what we hoped we could get. His eyes widened and then he smiled. "You're not going to believe this but guess what is about to go out onto the lot this morning? Now this Toyota Camry has 106,000 miles on it but it is in mint-condition and has been well-maintained. Here's the Car Fax report. Oh and they just did the 100,000 mile maintenance on it and it had new brakes a couple of months ago." He looked at me and said, "I know you like moon-roofs and this one has a moon-roof. In fact it has a lot of those little features you love about your Prius, K."
We took the Camry for a test drive and it was love at first sight. Then we test drove another car that was newer but had more payments. That one was nice but we liked the Camry better. We bought the Camry.
This has been an interesting day. Before noon we had a car that was destroyed and drove off the lot with a newer car with almost 100,000 miles less than the old car. We had planned to replace the old car, in another year or two but things got speeded up a bit.
Learning the engine of your car has been destroyed is not good news. It is, in fact, disastrous news. However, that is not what we are choosing to remember about this day. Today, my husband managed to maintain control of a vehicle with a blown engine in early morning rush hour traffic and get it pulled over safely. Today we were not charged for towing it back to the repair shop we use because we have AAA. Today our friend just happened to be on the clock when we arrived at the dealership, someone we trusted and today, a car that just happened to be in our price range and suited us exactly was slated to go out onto the lot. We were the very first customers to see it.
Some may say all of this was "coincidence" but I don't. You see, I happen to believe that our Heavenly Father protects us and cares for us. He knows what we need when we need it. Blown engines do not take Him by surprise nor does any other curve in the road. He not only knows about them; He has made provision for them.
As a girl, I loved to watch my dad at work. My father was an artist. I used to love to sit on his lap with his drawing board in front of him. He would lay on clean sheet of white paper on it and transform that blank piece of paper into a picture. I cannot draw a straight line with a ruler but that did not prevent me from fully appreciating watching him work. In fact, I think watching him do what I could not do caused me to love and appreciate his work even more.
Long ago I told God that I wanted to see Him "at work". I knew about God's power but I didn't just want to see the end result, I wanted to get a glimpse of the process. I wanted to watch God at His drawing board creating a picture. I wanted to see Him take the clay and mold it, smooth it, fire it, glaze it and fire it again. God understood the heart of the artist's daughter and He granted my request. From time to time, He lets me climb up and watch Him at work for a little while. How I love it when He does that!
The purpose of this blog is three-fold. First, though it is hard, we need to resist the temptation to focus on that which is evil. We need to be aware of it but our focus needs to be on that which is good. When we do that, we are in position to see God at work and suddenly our perspective changes.
Secondly, we must learn to trust God. Just the other night I was in a frenzy simply because I did not trust God to take care of a situation. Once I did, I calmed down and released it. Guess what? God took care of it and He did so without my needing to run around like a chicken with its head cut off. Finally, I challenge you to ask God to let you catch glimpses of Him at work in your life and the lives of others. It is amazing to watch God at work!