A while back some friends of mine were in an accident that totalled their car. Unfortunately, they were still making payments on that vehicle and the settlement was for less than what they owed and of course, were responsible for the shortfall. In the meantime, as it had been their only vehicle, they went shopping for another car. That car turned out to be a lemon. While the dealer did eventually take back the car, he of course, paid far less for it than what they had paid him. Yeah, you guessed it. Now they were paying off notes on two cars which they no longer had.
It had been a tough year for them in more ways than one. They were an older couple who lived on a fixed income so funds are quite limited. With the assistance of a family member, they were able to purchase a third vehicle.
I was really happy for them when I saw it. The van looked nice and when they told me what they had paid for it, I thought they got a good deal.
Several months passed and I thought things were going well at last. I was wrong. Apparently, there had been what they thought were "small problems" for some time. You know, things like that light that was on when you purchased the vehicle and the dealer convinced you it was a broken sensor. Then there are those rattling noises that get progressively louder, a ride that seems to get bumpier, etc. It turns out that in addition to new tires (the belts are now showing), the van that looked so pretty on the outside is not very pretty on the inside. It needs work. It needs a lot of work and not counting the tires, the estimated repair costs exceed $1,000.00 at this point.
Looking on the outside you would have never known it but looking at the inside, which is what counts the most, an expert can clearly see that all is not well and in fact, it is not safe to drive.
I am praying for my friends. They are going to get estimates from some other places of course, see what needs immediate attention and whether or not there are some things that are not quite as urgent as others. I am praying that God provides for them what they need when they need it.
At the same time, their story reminded me of how quick I am to assess the outside of something, someone or even myself. It looks good, it sounds good, it feels good or right so I quickly assume that all is well. Just because it is lookin' good on the outside doesn't mean it is good on the inside. What I really need to do is call "The Expert", the Holy Spirit and listen to what He has to say. That last part is important. Often we call upon God but then we do all of the talking. We must learn to wait, listen and obey.