I recently bought a new car, a white 1991 Buick Century. The lady who sold it to me, whom I know personally, called it her “White Dove” and told me to take good care of it–so I am doing my best. It is a truly a nice car, I call it my “mini-boat” instead (in contrast to the Lincoln and Cadillac “boats”) and it is virtually in mint condition.
I went over to my grandpa’s a couple weeks ago now (he lives up on Queen Anne Hill) and asked him to look it over since there was a strange sound it was making. It certainly is a blessing to have him help me with such things because I know virtually nothing about cars. It is ironic, since both my grandpa and my dad are such handy-men that can fix anything and everything–so I am eager to learn. When I parked my car in front of his house, he asked me to explain what was wrong with the car, so I did: “I hear two sounds actually, grandpa–one is a high pitched noise that comes on every once in awhile. But then every time I stop at a red light, it sounds like I hear boiling coming from behind the middle of the dashboard.”
He shook his head and wiped his forehead as we opened up the hood. “There are different ways to interpret the sounds in a car now, Chris. When I drove the car I heard this low grinding sound, but I didn’t hear any boiling.” He looked up and then continued, “You better hope it’s my interpretation…” He fiddled around in the car and shook his head again.
“What is it grandpa?”
“Well, if it is boiling, you’re gonna stop somewhere and all of a sudden the whole thing will just go boom! and blow up in your face! Good night!” he closed the hood and walked over to the driver’s side and got in.
My grandpa is a perfectionist, so, like me, first things first–I got the run-down on the car’s interior, what every light, button and gadget did. He started the car up a few times and showed me how to tell when I should pay attention to the computerized lights on the dash.
“This is the battery light, Chris. It should be fine since I charged it myself a few weeks ago. Now see look it will come on for a few seconds and then turn off,” he turned the car key and began to turn the car on again.
“Actually the battery light is awfully dim, I wonder…” he thought aloud as he tried to start the engine again. This time some sound was made by the engine as it tired to start up, but it got to a certain point and then would stop revving and shut off completely. “Oh, gee-wiz!”
He turned the key one more time and held it there as he pumped the gas. The car revved and revved and suddenly it started. A funny sound began to come out of the front, from the engine as the revving began to slow again. “Oop, what was that?”
My eyes all of a sudden grew big as a pile of white smoke began erupting from the cracks on the hood of the car. Then smoke began billowing out of the grill in front and clouded up our entire view as this massive cloud began forming. At this my grandpa suddenly turned the car off and sat there, bewildered.
I looked over him and quietly asked, “Are we supposed to run or something?” He turned my way and replied, quietly as well:
“It’s too late for that now!”
One of my grandpa’s friendly neighbors quickly came over and yelled out if we were OK. We didn’t respond. But seeing that nothing else happened, and that the smoke was now beginning to subside, we decided to get out and check out. My mind was racing as I imagined seeing a charred engine inside, or something terrible.
Turns out it was a minor problem, the serpentine belt, a long belt made of sturdy rubber, had gotten burned through as it went over the air-conditioning compressor. It turned out the air-conditioner, because of little to no use (duh, we live in Seattle), had gone dry on lubrication and had stopped working, causing the whole car to malfunction. It also could’ve possibly caused a fire and damaged the whole engine.
But when all was said and done, my grandpa helped me buy a new belt and two hours later and fifty bucks later, my car was sounding better than it ever had before.
The neighbor later came by as I was working on another project outside the house (on a nice, sunny day!) and noticed: “Strange that happened here, of all places.” He began walking away and said back, “You’re a lucky man!”
He was right, and wrong as well. What are the chances that this happened at my grandpa’s house and not on the freeway? Logic tells me that the chances are almost non-existent, seeing as to how much I had driven the car prior to this.
But there is one small detail I am excluding: somebody’s watching me. Somebody is taking care of me. It is not up to chance, it is not up to luck or to logic. God knew, and God protected me from this incident. Why? Because he can.
Looking back I realize how nothing that has ever happened to me has been on accident, no experience has been wasted. No memory has hampered me from becoming who God wants me to be–there is nothing I can say or do or think that would be out of God’s plan.
Think of all the “close calls” you have ever had. Remind yourself of all the times you experienced God’s leading hand in your life.
Somebody is watching you and caring for you and leading you. So how should this impact you? Let me put it in the words of William McDonald:
To walk by sight means to have visible means of support, to have adequate reserves for the future, to employ human cleverness in insuring against unseen risks. The walk of faith is the very opposite; it is a moment-by-m0ment reliance on God alone. It is a perpetual crisis of dependence on the Lord. The flesh shrinks from a position of complete dependence on an unseen God. It seeks to provide a caution against possible losses. If it cannot see where it is going, it is apt to suffer complete nervous collapse. But faith steps forward in obedience to the Word of God, rises above circumstances, and trusts the Lord for the supply of all needs.
What are we to fear then? There are no unknowns when we trust an all-knowing and all-sufficient. Trusting and having faith in God, the one who is watching over us, is the most logical thing we can do. Why would you not entrust yourself to the Creator of all things, and put your faith in his plan over your own? Nothing is an accident, nothing is out of place with God, and of that we can sure.
It’s experiences like this that remind me that God has a plan for my life. Simple, small things like this. But I could spend a few hours telling you personally of some near-death experiences I have had or seen in my life, and I bet the angels could tell you of some more that I am even unaware of!
Count your blessings :)