This past weekend my car broke down. Well, "broke down" isn't the precise definition of what happened - my car's ability to accelerate disappeared completely, making it almost impossible to drive. My car could drive, as long as it had previously developed enough speed by going down a mountain pass, and was able to coast for a long distance, and had a strong wind at it's back. It turns out the fuel pump was defunct and thus unable to get gas to the engine (I will refrain right now from a more obvious theological point and blogpost about the need to be connected to God's Word and how that is our fuel to our engine...). The repairs department said that it was a relatively easy fix, but that their shop didn't have the necessary car part, and that I would have to drive my car two hours (or tow it, at a cost of $1,000 plus from their shop to another fix it shop). I decided to risk it, save the money, and coast...(I'm very Scottish that way).
As I coasted my car from one fix-it-shop to the other, I suddenly became very nervous. What if my car breaks down completely, right here in the middle of nowhere? What if my car just blows up? Aren't fuel pumps the thing that carry fuel? Isn't fuel combustible? Isn't mine malfunctioning? What if nobody ever hears from me again? What if I become homeless? (Did I mention that I can let my imagination run wild at times?).
But then, an incredible thing happened. As I was coasting along with my flashers on, a tow-truck pulled up along side me, and then he pulled right up in front of me, seeming to escort my dilapidated car down the road. The draft behind the tow-truck actually helped me to drive more easily. And then, miracle upon miracles, that same tow-truck proceeded to drive in front of me for the entire trip to the fix-it shop, over two hours away. Honestly, I felt like Air-Force One being escorted by an F1-11 to an airport runway. I felt like a little ugly ducking, being escorted through the skies by a great flock of white swans. And I discovered once again, an abiding truth about faith and life:
God Will Send a Tow-Truck
One of the main difficult truths about our lives is that hardships will occur - bad things will happen. Sickness will infect, wars will erupt, violence will ensue, famine and droughts will decimate, tornadoes and tsunamis will engulf, hatred will enflame, cars will break down. These are tough realities of what it is to be human. Jesus himself promises us and is realistic about the fact that these things will happen; "The rain will fall on the just and the unjust" (Matt. 5:45). Why these life challenges must befall us is a much debated question. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do bad things happen period? Depending on where you fall on the theological spectrum of these questions, your answer will surely fall somewhere in between random happenstance and sovereign determinism. The spectrum of explanation for why hardships occur in human life falls somewhere between the well worn maxim, "(grey matter) happens" and "God allows all things to happen for a reason."
However, in the midst of our difficulties, God's promise is that He will provide. God will produce manna in our wildernesses. God will make springs shoot out from rocks. God will send doves with olive branches in the middle of floods. God will give us pebbles and sling shots in the middle of wars. God will send earthquakes to loose us from our prison cells. God sent a savior to live with us in the middle our messed up existence.
God Will Send a Tow-Truck
I would love to end this blogpost by saying that after the tow truck escorted me to the fix-it shop, he then rolled down his window, winked at me, tooted his horn, and said, "God bless you, my son, now your safe and sound." But that didn't happen. And that would be embellishing the story beyond reality. In truth, God helped me and my fuel pump depleted car to make it to the fix-it-shop in one piece. And along the way, God gave me the assurance that He was providing for me in the midst of the journey.
All For Now,