Have you ever been given a gift that you immediately associated as a great blessing of God? This is how we view our car. A mission organization from Britain donated this car to us about 6 months ago.
About 2 months [passed and we started having engine problems. It did not seem like much at the time, but as the months have passed by, we started to notice our minds and hearts changing towards the way we viewed the car.
About one month back, while talking with the mechanic, my heart changed radically and I started to have bitterness towards the car and towards the people who donated it. You see, the car was in the mechanic to replace the oil pump. It would only cost $500 U.S. to fix it. But then the mechanic showed me a larger problem.
It would seem that the oil had not been replaced for a long time, causing the need to rebuild the engine. The camshaft needed turned, the head, seals, valves, a dilemma was before us. Now, instead of $500, it would be $2500. This was $2500 more that what we had to spend. And in the prior 2 months we had already spent $1800 repairing it and replacing the tires. A blessing?
My heart changed. I found myself cursing the car, and having bad feelings towards the donors. I was bitter. And on top of that, I had a man with me who I am currently disciplining and I was talking with him about it. As we were walking back to our house, and as my heart was running wild, I started to think about the irony of something being a blessing from God while at the same time my heart was cursing it. Maybe it wasn’t a blessing from God after all? Maybe the car was not from God?
I think of Psalm 73, “Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.”
And in that moment God spoke to me, directly into my heart. “Look at Jonah!” I thought and responded to God, “I am not running from your will, Lord. I am not like Jonah.” And He said back to my heart, “Look at Jonah, the whole story!”
And then I recalled Jonah on the big hill, sitting under the sun, waiting for the judgment of God to rain down fire upon the Ninevites. And I remember, the sun was hot….. And I remember, God caused a plant to grow over Jonah to bless him from the sun….. And I remember, the plant died and Jonah cursed the plant and was so bitter that he was ready to give up and die…. And I remembered my own heart, “Deceitfully wicked, who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9
I cried out to God for forgiveness. I repented before the man that was with me and I explained how God had just spoken with me as we walked.
And I thought of Psalm 73 again, in verse 16,”When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood…”
I wonder today, how many other times God blessed me with something and then I cursed it and was bitter towards life because of it? My new job? My new house? I started to realize that this had not been a one time occurrence. And I asked God to forgive me.
And God told Jonah, “You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?”
And I now remember, it is not because of us that we have the money to pay for the car repairs, but God is sovereign over all. He provides all things for us, “the Lord gives, and He takes away.” It is He that has called us to this jungle because He has multitudes of people waiting to hear His words!
What a marvelous ride we are on. Up and down, back and forth, and it is a ride that leads to glory! Praise God for being faithful and just in all that He does! Praise God for teaching us in every aspect of life! And praise God for those people He uses to bless others with, people like you, like us, people like those who donated their car to us. Thank you God for your many blessings!
Do you have a story to tell similar to this? Write us and let us know.