I’m aware that many people have a problem with the notion of an omnipotent, omnipresent, God who loves each of us so much that He’s concerned with the circumstances of our individual lives. Perhaps even more mind blowing to them is the further contention that He would put His Holy Spirit in the midst of our circumstances with the intent of working out the details of His great purpose through each one of us.
That’s precisely the reason I’ve got to tell this story, and while I know that there are some who won’t share my vision, I also believe that there are many more that have personally experienced similar and much, much greater “coincidental” circumstances than mine that will see it and who will recognize His work.
Where to start? I guess I’ll just pick it up on that Monday morning twenty five days ago when my car refused to start. Internal combustion is really a simple thing, it’s air and gas mixed together with a spark applied to it. This working knowledge is the basis for troubleshooting any automotive problem. All three things must be present for a car to start. I’m not very mechanically inclined, instead I rely on people who are and on the advice they so generously give me to fix my car. The first idea I heard was that my fuel pump was probably not working, and so after some research into how to replace a fuel pump and shopping around for one, I went about replacing it.
But that wasn’t the problem…
So there I was, already into this thing for almost two hundred bucks and not much closer to even knowing what the problem was. It was through the further advice of well intentioned friends and the elimination of fuel as being the problem that my attention was focused on spark. Timing actually, which regulates the combustion process by using a belt driven cam shaft to open and close the valves of the cylinder in sync with the application of the spark and fuel in the cylinder. Whoever came up with the idea for a timing belt must of gotten the idea from God, no doubt inspired by His ability to be the power and the drive that keeps everything in sequence and brings order and harmony to so many different things that work separately and yet together. It was at this point that I fully knew that I was in over my head mechanically, and that I had done everything I personally could to fix my car, that’s when it became “God’s timing belt” problem!
What did God have in mind? Was He wanting me to look for a newer car? Was He making some other arrangement’s that would require me to just be patient for a time? I was trusting in that being the case but I didn’t really have any more of a clue!
My day to day life and transportation necessities were thankfully being covered by my brother in law who I live with, but here’s where it gets a bit complicated. His car’s transmission had been acting up, it constantly slipped at certain speeds and it had no overdrive, which is related to another previous circumstance that’s very significant. A few weeks ago I was in a library computer lab, I noticed a man who was having trouble inserting his flash drive into the USB port of the computer so I went over and tried to help him. We had a brief encounter and I remember thinking to myself what a nice guy he seemed to be.
A week or so later as I was getting out of my car at Sunday night church, I saw this same man walking into the church with guess who? My brother in-law! He had been occasionally attending my bro-n-law’s church and on that particular evening had decided to attend our church because he and his wife were riding in my Bro-n-law’s car, that decision was mostly a dictate of the transmission problems and the closer proximity of our church. That night after service’s I introduced my wife and myself to him and his wife, and he remembered me too! They invited us to come to their bible study group on Friday night’s and we accepted. Since then we’ve been getting to know them better and have been attending regular bible studies with them that my bro-n-law had been going to so we just hitched a ride with him. WHEW! (takes a deep breath)
As I became acquainted with him he shared with me his vision of a ministry he was trying to get going, he wanted to train people to be evangelists and to provide the people of his community with christian based counseling in several area’s, he was also looking for someone who could write blogs for his ministry website…Gee,what a coincidence! I believe that our meeting was by God’s appointment, and that it might never of happened if my bro-n-laws car hadn’t of been acting up! Oh, by the way…the problem with his car miraculously fixed itself a few day’s later when he discovered that his OD switch on the shift lever had somehow been pushed in, which was telling the car to try to shift into a non-functioning OD gear at certain speeds. When he let it out, the car began to function normally (still no overdrive, but without the constant slipping) just as it always had since he’d owned it. He had driven it at least a thousand miles that way and seriously thought that it was going to completely quit on him!
I had talked about my car with several people, some gave me advice, others seemed indifferent, and still others offered me actual help! I’ve found that when someone really want’s to help you they’ll always find a way even if that means just somehow letting you know they care. To me, it’s a very big deal to tell someone I love them, I may say it casually but it still means a lot to me. It means I know you at your best and at your worst and that I make no distinction between them in that I’m always going to care for you and about you in all your circumstances.
Anyway, back to MY car problem! It was my recently acquainted friend that offered to bring his friend to my house to look at my car. At first he thought it was the belt too, but when we got the cover off it was okay. I’ve got a few plug wires that aren’t in too good of shape so we replaced those, still no good spark. When they opened up the distributor there was a lot of corrosion and the rotor bug was broken, we really thought this would fix it but no, it didn’t. There’s only one component of the electrical system left, the ignition coil, so I ran into town to pick one up.
This morning, I took that ignition coil and installed it inside of the distributor cap, it was difficult for me but I was able to figure it out! I twisted the key and VOILA! it started. What can I say? It’s been a process during which I’ve had to give it to God, who then brought some Christian brothers alongside me to do some of the things I couldn’t, but He saved the last piece of the puzzle for me to provide because it was important that it happen that way for my sake. Twenty six days without a car, but being set apart has also been a blessing because in the midst of my lacking God showed me a lot of things, some old, some new, but all of them on His time!