One morning, without saying anything to anyone else, I told the Lord, “Our car is getting old, and little things are starting to break. We really can’t afford to buy a new car, and I’m worried.” Two days later, a friend we hadn’t talked to in probably 15 years contacted my wife. She said her mother had given up driving, and they were giving away her car. She wanted to know if we wanted it. I thought, Thank you, Lord, that’s really cool.
The car is 10 years younger than our old one and is much nicer. I had no idea how much the insurance on that car would cost. I told the Lord I was concerned. A close friend we meet with weekly for prayer and fellowship called and said the Lord told him to pay our insurance on the car for a year. I’m sure he heard the hesitation in my voice, and he asked me to pray about it and just let him know what the bill would be.
Money complicates friendships, and I value their friendship far more than the money. I did pray about it. I said, “Lord, you don’t want me to take that money, do you?” I did have an excellent reason for not taking the money; I’m weak and prideful. Since he said the Lord told him to give us the money, if I refused to take it, it would keep him from being able to obey the Lord. A few days later, a check arrived in the mail for the insurance from my friend. He decided not to wait for me to get back to him. I think the Lord told on me.
I was reminded of an incident that happened many years ago. I was working on some large data processing equipment at a customer site on a Wednesday afternoon. I needed a part to fix the machine. The trunk of my car was filled with thousands of parts, all neatly stored and inventoried so I could find them easily. I checked my inventory sheet, and I didn’t have the part.
Our church had regular Wednesday night meetings. All day I had a strong feeling that the Lord wanted me to be sure to be in the meeting that night. The round trip to the office to get the part would take at least two hours. When I got home, it would be too late to go to church. I prayed and asked the Lord to give me the part. I felt the Lord saying, “Look for the provision.” I searched my car’s trunk but could not find the needed part. I told the Lord that I didn’t have the part. I asked him if it would be okay for me to tell the customer I needed a part and would get it and be back in the morning, but all the Lord would say was, “Look for the provision.” I asked the Lord if it would be okay for me to get the part from the office and miss church, but again all the Lord would say is, “Look for the provision.”
At this point, I was utterly frustrated. I didn’t know what to do. I don’t know if it was out of frustration or anger, but I removed all the parts boxes from my trunk and searched each in the parking lot. The last box was a huge box that was very heavy in the middle of the trunk. This was the first time I had ever removed that box from the trunk. Underneath lay a part still in the manufacturer’s wrapping. I picked it up and looked at the number on it; it was the needed part.
I was able to make it home in time to get my wife and be at church on time. The strange thing was that nothing out of the ordinary happened at church that night. The following day at the office, I checked the files, and there was no record of our company ever buying that part.
When I returned to my car, I told the Lord I didn’t understand. I immediately thought of a sermon our pastor had preached a couple of weeks earlier. During the sermon, he quoted a bible verse, Consider the birds of the air, how they neither sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of much greater value than they are? At the time, I had told the Lord that it didn’t seem like an appropriate example of faith. I may have used the term “silly example” in that conversation. There were no words, but this extremely strong conviction suddenly flooded my mind: “Baby birds are fed in the nest; adult birds look for the provision.” Looking for God’s provision is not only an act of faith, but it’s also an act of worship. Many will look at your search for the provision and say, “Spending that much effort will always cause you to find your answer even if you don’t pray.” That doesn’t matter as our provision isn’t meant for them. It’s personal. The creator of the universe is looking at us and saying, “I love you.”
Lord, I thank you for the car, and I thank you also for the money for the insurance. Forgive me for my pride, and once again, I’m sorry for the “silly example” remark.
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