My husband sold his car last year because he wanted to buy a pick up truck to work on. I set a budget for him. He had to stay within the amount he’d gotten for the car he sold. We weren’t talking thousands of dollars; I was telling him he had to find a new-to-him truck for well under a thousand dollars. He eagerly began looking for options and a short time later decided to buy a 1980 Chevy flatbed truck a friend of ours had sitting out at his farm. This truck came with a second cab and front clip from a 1973 Chevy truck, because the original was in such bad shape. My husband was excited because he wasn’t just buying a truck he’d eventually be able to drive, he was investing in a project he could teach our kids with. He ended up using a bit more than his budget on a truck he couldn’t legally drive home, but he was happy. The kids named it Roadkill, and they all began going out to the farm to work on it with him; I believed that was the end of it.
A few weeks later, I realized that wasn’t the end of it. The project was going full swing, but my husband didn’t have a vehicle he could drive yet. He was no longer talking about his project truck as his own, but as something he would be giving to our boys who are now driving age. My husband wanted us to drive an hour and a half away from home to buy another truck that would cost over twice the budget he had already spent. I had to say no, and I did say no, all the way to Wisconsin, but he drove home a 1981 crew cab, long box Chevy truck anyway. He wore a big smile on his face, and I followed him in the family minivan mentally trying to juggle items in our budget to make room for this impromptu purchase.
We had two trucks. My husband was driving back and forth in this second truck between our house and our friend’s farm working on the first truck during every open moment he had. I wasn’t too happy, but he was focused happily in his zone with his new collection of eclectic Chevy trucks. He talked about it with anyone who would ask, and this led to my husband’s next purchase – yet another Chevy truck! He paid $50 to a friend for a non-running 1988 truck they thought he could use for parts, but after he got it home, my husband decided he could get this truck running again. All he could say for a week was, “What a deal!”
I was now at a loss. What was he going to do with three trucks? Why did he need to have three trucks?! His answer: The first one was for fun, the second one was because it fit the family and came equipped with an old Bible, and the third truck was because he was under the influence of God.
Under the influence of God?
It wasn’t long before he proved this. He had the 1988 truck running just in time. A young man from our church posted that he was in desperate need of a vehicle, and now we had one we could offer him immediately. My husband was vindicated. He believed God influenced him to buy this truck to provide for this young man, and I couldn’t argue with that!
I’m not saying that I am happy about his disregard for the budget I gave him. It was uncomfortable at times trying to make ends meet, but I do have to admit I admire him. He has all three trucks running and in different stages of repair. His truck of choice is the 1981 truck that came already-equipped with a Bible. This Bible is very prominently displayed in a compartment near his right hand whenever and wherever he goes. The truck has affectionately been named Dreamsicle, because this old crew-cab truck came painted in orange and cream like the frozen treat. It’s a monster size-wise, but I’ve finally driven it, and I will admit driving this truck feels like a time of fellowship with a dear old friend.
What is truly at the heart of this? Well, I had to learn how to look at it all. I’m not going to lie and say that everything is perfect; he and I are still discussing what the purpose of a budget is. Did my husband need three trucks? No. Did he buy three trucks? Yes. He bought three trucks in need of repair and re-purpose. The first truck he bought as a project he has used to spend more time with our kids. He is teaching them skills that will bring them understanding about the vehicle they will be driving. This could be more valuable than I even recognize right now, in ways I cannot see. The second truck he bought because it felt like an old friend he could ride with to work that would carry all of us together when we tow the boat or carry large loads. The third truck was a gift for blessing others with, and in blessing others we’ve found we are often blessed with opportunities to heal or strengthen relationships.
My husband saw that no truck is the same and each truck has a purpose, and he has given these three new life to fulfill their own unique purpose. This is not unlike people. We, each one of us, are unique and created for a purpose, to glorify and worship God with the unique gifts and talents He has equipped us with. We are born into sin, and we must come to Him broken, and our Lord and Savior is waiting, excited to breathe new life into us and shepherd us through all He has for us.
The Lord gave the following promise through Jeremiah:
“’Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and rebuild them as they were before. I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me. Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.’”(Jeremiah 33:6-9)
This is, of course, a promise given to the people in the Old Testament, but it was prophetic then and is just as true for those He chooses today.
Lord Jesus, You are the healer and the cleanser. May we bring you renown, joy, praise and honor in all we do and share. You provide much to be shared. I am ever in awe and love with You. I know You provide me with the peace to regard my husband’s actions with patience and respect. I ask You to be a buffer between us in the times that I struggle with this. Help me to be righteous in my reactions and actions that I may shine for You. Lord, I give You this now through your precious name. Amen.