Friday, June 11, 2010

A God of Details

So I have to inform you all of the happens of my week, because yes, they are that exciting.  Sunday evening is when things started rolling.  It seems as though whenever we have plans to have a house guest the AC inevitably goes out.  Now let me back this with some facts:  We LOVE our home, LOVE our landlords, and are so so grateful for where we live.  All this to say, this was the second time our gracious landlords had to deal with such a wonderful problem in the heat of summer.  Monday night we headed to the in-laws to sleep in cool relief and came home to a fixed air conditioner the next morning - SO THANKFUL!  

Nothing worth mentioning occurred until Wednesday evening when a huge prayer request was answered, we sold my car!  We had been trying to sell it for about a month with no such luck, but were so happy to let it go even if it was for a little less than we expected.  Such a burden lifted!  As we were down to one car, Pete's family graciously (there's a lot of grace in this story....) lent us one of their cars.  Thankful as we were to have another set of wheels for the time being, we mostly used Pete's car for the week as it is the more reliable/much cooler and it's a honda - they run forever right?

Or so I thought.  (Bare with me, the details are worth it in the end).  Thursday I rushed home from a long day at work, drove Pete to work at five pm, drove home to be at school a six.  Busy busy busy is our life.  Everything was peachy keen.  Worshiping Jesus on my ride to school gave me relief and a chance to relax.  Class went well and we got out a little early as Thursday nights at school are shorter, as we go to mall for the rest of class for "Deaf Chats."  

Then, oh then, the magic started again.  The car died on my way to mall.  At first I thought I just stalled out, but boy was I wrong.  Luckily familiar faces stopped to help me (as class had just let out).  About six, yes SIX, caring people stopped to help, push, look-over, listen, and try to figure out what the deal was.  Now HCC isn't in the best of hoods, and although I'm usually an anxious person when it comes to that, I was never once nervous.   The Lord covered this whole situation let me tell you.  Husbandless and all - He got me through.

With all the chaos ensuing around me, one thought came to mind - our faithful mechanic.  Let me tell you a little bit about this guy.  Fixing cars is pretty much his ministry at our church, although he would never admit to his blessings of the body.  He knows everything about cars, it's crazy!  Thank the Lord for him, as we are not mechanically savvy in the least.  Pete and I seem to have numerous car problems (must be long on-going joke the Lord has for us) and as much as we try to send things through his shop as often as possible, that didn't seem to be an option at the time, being my husband was far far away at a distant Starbucks (WITHOUT A CAR!) and unable to save his damsel in distress!  Long run on, but you get the drift of the stress!

I did hesitate to call my mechanic as though it seems we are always asking him questions or favors, but I figured who else is there?  I don't know anyone which a truck to haul this, we don't have triple A, we can't afford to get it towed...  so I called.  And guess what?  He and his family were literally around the corner at a store (normally it would have been about a 20-25 minute trip from their home) and are the sweetest people the planet, i.e. they helped, fixed, and set me at ease.   From the noises Pete's poor accord were exclaiming it sounded like a dead end to me, but what do I know.  Of the six people that did stop were a married couple (it was show and tell for my sign language class - he and his wife are both deaf and his son brought them as his show and tell).  He seemed to know what the issue was, which totally made me stand in awe. Even though he couldn't hear what was happening, he knew exactly what the problem was.  It just struck me as awesome to witness his son interpreting what his Dad  thought the problem was and he hit the nail on the head once we figured out what the issue was later that night.

Getting to the end here, I promise.  So it took a little while, but the good "Doc" soon arrived, got the car started and drove it to the shop.  I following along with his lovely wife and kids to his shop while he drove the "hurby" as I was a little hesitant.  Come to find out it was overheating the whole time he drove it there. NUTS!

Here comes the good part.  Doc's nine year old son is WAY into the guitar.  I had actually talked with Doc earlier that day about trying to get him some lessons.  I "happened" to have my guitar in the back of Pete's car (which I never do) so while "Doc" worked on the car, his son and I got to spend some pretty sweet time together "talking music."  Then I knew what the purpose was for all this.  The whole time on the way to the shop all I could think (unfortunately so) was, "Lord why?  We just sold my car, we are having to borrow another, and now this?  I can't possibly comprehend why you would want us to be car-less.  I don't know why you are doing this but there must be a reason."  After lots of quirky conversations (Doc's son is a really neat, intelligent kid who knows his stuff) about the guitar and playing a few songs I heard the engine cut on.  I was actually kind of sad to hear the roar, as I was enjoying such a sweet time with his son, daughter, and wife just playing worship songs, singing to Jesus, and enjoying fellowship.  Then I knew - Lord we are so dependent on other things in this life.  Cell phones, cars, air conditioning, money, internet, EVERYTHING!  No wonder your people are so lost in themselves, no wonder I am so lost in myself!  WE NEED YOU!  You are all we need to be dependent on.  !!!!!

Now here's the really good part.  The issue could have been one of two things:  a blown gasket head (which I'm told is not good and very expensive) or a hole in the cooling hose that would cost about fifty cents.  I think you know which one it was and I squeel at the fact: the hose, i.e. the LORD!

Here's how the evening could have gone, I thought on my way back to pick Pete up from work.  It could have died on the freeway going 80 in the fast lane.  It could have happened to Pete or I alone on the highway, had I not "felt the need" to take him to work, even though I could have used the other car that evening.  It could have happened on the way to class, instead of on the way home in which case no one might have seen me, or maybe someone weird might have stopped to "help."  It could have happened on a Tuesday, not an early release Thursday.  In which case it would have been dark and much scarier, which would have probably meant our mechanic wouldn't have been close by.  Had Pete driven himself to work, it would have happened to him at around midnight on the freeway in which case we would have been in a world of hurt.  And lastly, but certainly not least, we could have blown a gasket head!  But no, it was a fitty-cent piece!  All these things the Lord knew.  It happened in HIS perfect timing and his HIS perfect will.  What a blessing it is the be a child of the living God!

ALL THIS TO SAY - the Lord is so so sweet.  He knows us so well and LOVES the inner workings of our soul.  He knows what we can handle and who/what we need to get through the trials.  That evening I read this passage in my devotional at Starbucks and thought it particularly applicable for the evening's occasions:

"Woe to you who are rich, who are well fed now, who laugh now, when all men speak well of you." Luke 6:24-26  These are indicting words.  We can whole-heartedly agree when Jesus pronounces woe upon the self-righteous Pharisees.  But the rich?  That describes almost all Americans, by worldwide standards.  The well fed? Ditto.  Those who laugh?  Anyone who is mentally sound does that.  Those of whom other speak well?  Most of us have a decent reputation.  What exactly is Jesus trying to say here?  And why do His descriptions sound an awful lot like us?  
We should not dismiss these woes too quickly.  We know from other Bible passages - which Jesus never contradicts - that there is nothing inherently wrong with wealth, food, laughing, and a good reputation.  But these are sobering warnings.  Those who take comfort in their wealth, food, pleasure, and reputation - and who ignore God because of them - will be tragically sorry.  There is something inherently ungodly and dangerous in complacency, and all of these characteristics cultivate complacency.  If you have them, handle them with care; they are gifts from God, blessings given entirely by the grace of His goodness and not on your merit.  They are no cause for pride, only for humble gratitude.  
Regardless of how much money you have, know that you stand before God with absolutely nothing to offer in exchange for His blessing.  You are entirely dependent on grace.  Regardless of how much food you eat, know that you stand before God wholly dependent on the bread of His word; it alone sustains your life.  Regardless of the quality of your positive outlook, let your rejoicing be primarily in the pleasure of His fellowship.  And regardless of your prestige, know that you stand completely dependent on the reputation of God's son for the Father's favor.  Never lose sight of your poverty, and you will never experience these judgements.

So for those of you who made it through this huge ramble, I hope that you are encouraged.  Whatever trial, whatever issue know that the Lord is there.  He's knows his people and He loves US!  Can you believe it?  He is a gracious master giving us not what we deserve.  So like the song says: 
"I'm living for the day, you wipe these tears away, and I am there with you my God.  In your glory, all adoring in all.  I will bow down in your presence my God.  I'm living for the heavenlies!  I'm living for the heavenlies!  Yeah, when all of you is all I see, I'm living for the heavenlies!"

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