“Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” Psalm 115:1 (NIV)
We drive two old cars and as a result, something always seems to be breaking down. Last fall we found a new mechanic and took our car in for necessary repairs. The price was right, they fixed the problem and God created an opportunity for me to share hope with one of the mechanics. He had opened up that they had lost a baby at birth and from the way he was talking, it was evident he was still hurting almost two years later. I was able to give him a copy of a book I’d written dealing with that very topic, Hope During Heartache, praying that God would use those words to help him and his family.
Fast forward three months later. Bill was driving home from work and he called me up, asking me to “pray him home” because the brakes had gone from fine to almost gone with the snap of his fingers. I did, God brought him home safely and the next day we were able to get our car in right away. The same mechanic greeted us that morning and quietly mentioned, “This week was the anniversary of his death.” I knew right away what he was talking about and was able to reach out again to offer comfort, this time in the form of brownies (nothing says comfort like chocolate!). That afternoon as we were driving our once-again-fixed car home, I realized a few things.
I could have gotten upset with the inconvenient, expensive car repairs we were dealing with, again, or I could look at this situation from a different perspective. I believe God allowed our car to need repairs so that we could meet this particular mechanic. I also believe He allowed our car to break down again when it did because it was the anniversary of his baby’s death and he needed extra comfort. I believe it was never about the car needing to be repaired at all. I believe it was more about reaching out and attempting to show Christ’s love to a hurting man than it was about paying for another car repair. God provided the money for the repair just as He provided the opportunity for us to help someone who was hurting.
I want to encourage each of you today. When life hands you situations that are inconvenient, sometimes expensive, and definitely not what you planned, consider looking at them through the lens of an eternal perspective. While the money we spent on car repairs won’t matter five years from now, my prayer is that the mechanic will make an eternal decision to accept the healing Jesus offers… and then share that with his family as well.
© Cheri Swalwell 2016