"All our human problems can be traced to our view of God." --Bill Bright
If God loves me, if He is always with me, if He is all-powerful, and if He never changes, then my problems cease to be problems; rather, they become opportunities to see God work.
A few days ago, I started up the Cadillac, and it made a funky noise. Then it shook all over and shut off. I waited a minute and tried again. Then it was fine. Day before yesterday, the Check Oil Level light came on, even though we had just put oil in last week. Tonight, on the way home from Life Group at church, the car overheated and shut off. As Matt checked the engine, the kids and I prayed, offering our situation up to God and thanking Him for this opportunity to see Him work.
This story becomes more meaningful with a bit of background on where we're coming from right now. Due to circumstances beyond our control, our trip this summer (which I must add was a required trip, not just a vacation) went significantly over budget. Those expenses came out of our ministry staff account right before our paycheck processed. This coincided with the Labor Day holiday weekend, and all of the donations that normally hit our account on the 5th were delayed. The combination of this resulted in a short paycheck for us this week. When I say short, I mean short...as in $1.34. Yup, $1.34. Enough for a pack of gum and a laugh. There are still bills to be paid, and the pantry and fridge are running low. We haven't been worried at all, because in the last 7 years we have been missionaries, God has always provided for us. And we have seen some very lean times. But God has always come through. If I try to analyze where we are right now, I know I will be overwhelmed. That's why I decided right away to give it to God and let Him handle the details. And guess what? He will.
Praise #1: The car hung in long enough to get us to Auto Zone. When it shut off, we were safe and sound in the parking lot.
Praise #2: My bestie Tracie was able to be there in 10 minutes to help me with the kids, to feed us dinner while we waited, and to take us home.
Praise #3: Our friend Amanda was willing to let us use her AAA if we couldn't get an additional tow using our AAA.
Praise #4: Our AAA worked with us and was willing to tow the car home.
Praise #5: While we were waiting for AAA, a mechanic randomly came over to talk to Matt. He looked at the car and found the problem. The water pump tensioner broke, destroying the water pump, the water pump pulley, and the water pump belt. It is relatively easy to fix, and the parts aren't horribly expensive. The mechanic told Matt exactly how to fix it.
Praise #6: One of my church friends texted me in response to my SOS post on Facebook. She and her husband offered to help pay for the parts, and to help Matt put the parts in.
Praise #7: Another dear friend here who is also a mechanic called and offered to help however he could.
Praise #8: My children, as well as several friends, were able to see God respond to our needs. The kids and I thanked Him in advance for His provision, and they saw Him in action in a very tangible way.
This isn't over yet. We still have a wad of bills to pay. We still don't have a dime in our bank account. Though part of the money for the repair is coming on Tuesday, it isn't enough to buy all the parts we need. But none of this is a problem. Our family is trusting God to work, and we are watching expectantly to see what He does. No matter what, He gets the glory because without Him, we can do nothing to fix this.