Friday, December 7, 2007

It could have been so much worse!

Today, I am again awestruck by the protection and provision of God. The day could have been so much worse for me.
After a great lunch with a long-time friend and partner in ministry, I was in my car headed to another conversation (this time over coffee) with another devoted friend. I noticed that my car seemed to lurch and "clunk" quite violently at a couple of stop signs . Finally, at a traffic light the loudest "thud" yet echoed up from my rear wheels, my car started pulling back as I tried to accelerate through a busy intersection, and then the terrible screeching started. I limped to the side of the road, turned on the flashers, and called my reliable father.
Half an hour later--we live in a different town--my dad pulled up and slowly drove the car to a garage. He had discovered a way to reverse after stopping that enabled any movement at all. The garage owner had worked on cars for our family before with great integrity and promised to look at my little car right away. Dad and I spent some time at a local shop, discussed what might be wrong with the brakes, and waited for the prognosis.
Now, I had already enjoyed a safe road-side experience instead of a side-of-the-interstate-in-Chicago-rush-hour moment that could have existed had the problem arisen last week. I was already thankful, but we were prepared for some fairly expensive and time-consuming work on the car. I was brainstorming how I might make the three-hour drive to a speaking engagement that I had planned for the weekend when the garage owner, a kind man named Ken, called back. A bolt was missing from my caliper. He replaced it. Only cosmetic damage to something on the interior structure of the brake disk. No charge.
Yep. No charge. After about 45 minutes of labor in the middle of a busy day, this man handed me the keys and wished me a Merry Christmas. After an alarming moment without an important bolt in the middle of an intersection, no permanent damage to me or the car. Behold a gift from my Father in Heaven!
From now on, as I drive in this car to appointments to share about my upcoming ministry to international students in Budapest, I will be reminded of the One who makes it all possible. He has called me. He has kept me safe. He has and will provide in His perfect time.

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