Be encouraged! The Lord is much closer to you than you may realize. Even if you feel lonely or lost at times, remember that you are never ever truly alone. God is always with us, but it’s up to us to determine how near we wish to draw to Him.
While the Christian life may not always be easy, there definitely are benefits that accrue for the person who seeks the Lord wholeheartedly. Sometimes these benefits are big and life-changing, and other times feel a little more ordinary. Still, to borrow the words from the psalmist, they warrant telling “everyone about the wonderful things You do.” So here is my example:
I posted previously about the car trouble I had last month, and believed that I was over the worst of it. However, much to my dismay, the check engine warning light came on unexpectedly over the weekend. To say that I was alarmed would be something of an understatement.
At first, I consulted the owner’s manual to better understand what was happening. The manual confirmed that it was likely a serious affair, and that my vehicle should be serviced as soon as possible.
Next, I reached out to the nearest car dealership, as well as to a friend of mine who services my car on a regular basis, and they both suggested that I check the seal on my car’s gas cap. I followed their instructions, yet the warning light did not go away.
Neither one of them seemed to be very concerned about the matter, but I immediately shifted into worst-case-scenario thinking:
- My car would need another expensive repair;
- This was the end of the road for my precious car – which is nine years old – and I am going to be forced to buy another car.
- Buying a new car was not in my budget forecast for 2017. I preferred to keep the car that I have, and I did not want to deal with monthly payments all over again.
- Was the car even safe to drive? Even though the experts weren’t too concerned, what if they were wrong?
[As you can see, my mind quickly spiraled in a downward direction.]
I then decided to do some online research. I discovered that the gas cap hypothesis was most likely the correct one, and that the reasonable course of action would be to replace the gas cap.
Still, though, I had no peace about the situation. I finally took a moment to pray: Lord, what do You want me to know about this engine light situation?
Eventually, the answer became clear: Call the nearest dealership and ask about the gas cap, and that’s precisely what I did. I found out that the dealership next door to the one I typically go to had two gas caps in stock, and all I had to do was go to the parts department and buy one.
So, this morning, that’s what I did. About $25 later, I had a new gas cap. The problem, though, was that I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it.
I thought to myself, “What do I have to lose?” I then asked one of the service technicians if he would be willing to install the new cap on my vehicle. A few minutes later, a kind gentleman walked with me to my car, remove the old gas cap, and properly installed the new one. I thanked him, wished him well, and went on my way. Unfortunately, the check engine light was still on.
So, I took my car to the friend of mine who regularly services it. He works about twenty miles away from where I live, but I went to see him anyway, trusting that the Lord would grant me safe passage there.
And He did. My friend had one of his technicians do a scan on my vehicle, and determined that the gas cap was in fact the issue. In a matter of a few minutes, the technician was able to reset something in my car so that the engine warming light went off, and I was able to go home – all at no cost to me. 🙂
My friend smiled at me and said, “see, I told you not to worry about it!” Oops….
As it turns out, my car will be just fine: No expensive repair was needed at all; I don’t need to buy a new vehicle; and my car was safe to drive. God worked it all out, but that did not stop me from slipping and sliding into a world of worry!
Dear Lord, thank You for always being there for me. Thank You also for resolving the issue with my car’s engine light. Forgive me for being so quick to fret about things outside of the realm of my control, and allowing my mind to spiral into worst-case-scenario thinking with such rapidity.
I’m not quite sure why it takes such intention for me to maintain peace, and no effort at all for me to worry! Regardless, I thank You for taking such good care of me, and for sticking close to me (even when I worry!). In Your name I pray, Amen.