Life is meant to always go smooth… right? If everything in my life is going smooth then God must be absolutely pleased with me. If one or more flustering events happen in my life then God is against me. Believe it or not, this is how many people view Christianity.
A few weeks ago, I was having one of those “really God?” moments. It all started as I was driving home on the highway. It was a rainy night and the traffic was backed up. I was cruising right along when out of nowhere I see brake lights. I slam on my brakes hoping to stop before hitting the vehicle in front of me. I fishtailed onto the shoulder and heard my brakes grinding. No, I didn’t hit the vehicle in front of me, but quickly found out that my brakes were shot (as a matter of fact the pad was completely gone). About a week after getting my brakes fixed I noticed that my speedometer was starting to act up and my check engine light came on.
Annoyed and frustrated, I decided that it was an excellent time to go car shopping with one of my friends. We went to a few car dealerships and I was starting to feel much better about the possibility of trading in my vehicle at one of the dealerships… wouldn’t you know it… we were riding along one of those congested construction areas and my Jeep decided to completely die in the middle of the road. You’ve got to be kidding me???? I started it back up and got it a few more feet until it died again. After about four times of doing this, we made it into a parking stall in the nearest lot and waited for a tow truck. My Jeep sat in the driveway for a few days. I was completely fed up.
Mikayla, my wife, watched every time I walked passed it, irritated, and gently tapped the left side bumper… I was torn. Mikayla looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Joey, I know God can heal your Jeep, the question is do you want Him to?” My face must have been priceless because I honestly didn’t know. I wanted to say yes, but I also wanted to just throw in the towel and get something new.
What I didn’t realize at this point was that God was in the process of doing something. After sitting in the driveway for a week, some of my friends came over and ran some diagnostics on it. It’s quite humbling when asked when the last time you checked the fluids in your vehicle was because, well, one of them was completely dried up. We ran to the store, grabbed the fluid and filled up the tank. It was so great to hear my Jeep. I thought I was maintaining it to the best of my abilities. It fired up and no stall, but that wasn’t good enough for me because the check engine light was still on. The check engine light was tested at Auto Zone and you wouldn’t believe what the print out showed. I was expecting a long list of problems because that’s what it seemed like everything was amounting to. On that list was one simple error that I already knew, my speedometer wasn’t working.
I sat in my Jeep later that night rubbing the steering wheel with my music blaring saying, “God, I just don’t understand.” In God’s unique, still, small voice I felt him saying, “Joey, I needed you to slow down because I was wanting to do something.” Sometimes when God speaks you know exactly what he is talking about. In this moment, I knew exactly what he was talking about. We can have the whole debate and argument over whether the Jeep is fixed or not and yet completely miss what God is doing. I was so easily distracted on wanting a new vehicle and ditching what “I felt” the problem was that I almost missed God slowing me down. Behind the scenes, God was orchestrating, in his loving way, to show me what is valuable and what isn’t. He was showing me that my vehicle, my relationships, friendships and my life was in his hands. My world looked like chaos and frustrations, but when God slowed me down I saw people who cared and got more accomplished than I thought was possible.
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?[a] And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
8 “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, Luke 12:6-8 English Standard Version (ESV)