“Are you okay” was blurted out by both of us right after the car blindsided us in the rear. Getting out meeting a very apologetic man we surveyed the damage to the quarter panel of our ride. It was just a few weeks before that we had been praying for a car. With a fourteen-month-old son and a newly arrived daughter we couldn’t squeeze everyone in the front of our sporty Chevy Luv truck or diminutive Honda Accord hatchback. I know you can get about eighteen clowns in one of those cars but for the life of me I couldn’t cram in two car seats, their miniature occupants and all of the supporting accoutrements of infants and toddlers.
Working as house parents on a campus for court placed juveniles we had housing and food provided for us and enough stipend to get by but extra cash was scarce. We were thrilled when my father-in-law called saying he would sell us a company car used in his insurance business for $275. Cashing in the aluminum cans and scrounging through the couch cushions augmented our cash reserves enough to pay half down with a promise to pay the rest later. We were off to see what the car God was blessing us with. Rumor has it that that God has a sense of humor as we looked at our white Chevy Citation. The Citation was the 80s version of the Edsel. Who would name a car after a traffic ticket? Assuredly, my heart races when I experience those red lights and that raucous siren getting bigger in my review mirror although my first glimpse of the Citation did not conjure the same emotion. But it was big enough to get all of our expanded family in and we were grateful. God did provide!
How can you make an ugly car worse? Adding a crumpled rear end with chrome pieces jutting out at unnatural angles pointing at people as we drove down the street seemed to do the trick. It was like our car was giving everyone a thumbs up saying God gave me to these guys, isn’t He good! And he was. Not wanting to get the insurance company involved the gentleman who rearranged our sleek coupe wrote us a check for $250. Wow, we had a $25 dollar car in which everyone fit. God really does provide! We drove that car for two years until on its last legs we traded it in for a station wagon needed for the addition of our four foster boys. Driving off the lot in our used classic Buick, we witnessed the last of the Citation surrounded by car lot workers with fire extinguishers and a garden hose, flames shooting from the engine and water pooling on the ground. It had caught fire and gave up the ghost the first turn of the key for them. That Buick station wagon was no eye catcher, but God does provide.
Serving God can take you on many an adventure. He has a promise for us though, if we completely commit to Him and faithfully follow where He leads, He will provide for us. The problem is we have a cultural standard that looks at the outside strata of society. God on the other hand has two strata – those that follow Him and those that battle Him. He looks at the soul and determines our worth – a worth that leads to heaven or hell. It is not bad to have nice things or sinful to be in any cultural strata. What is wrong is what your heart pursues – it is pursuing those things that outwardly define us or those things that mark us as God’s own. When God provided a Citation He gave us the desire of our hearts – transportation that would safely carry all of our family. Here are Jesus words for simplifying life. “So, do not worry, saying, what shall we eat or what shall we wear? For the pagans run after these things, and your heavenly Father knows you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all of these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:31-33). Pursue God’s heart and He takes care of us. I kind of liked that ugly $25 car.
This weekly devotion is written by John Key