What I Learned Today

Today as my traveling companion and I (aka my mother) were driving south we faced an annoying obstacle. To be perfectly frank, the same obstacle has been raising its ugly head for the last several months and we’re getting pretty tired of it. Want to know what the “obstacle” is? OUR VEHICLE.

Each ministry trip requires a whole bunch of “stuff”: equipment, boxes of CD’s, suitcases, and other things. Because of this we must take a van. This would be fine if this van was running properly. But it has been pretty stubborn lately and no matter how much we pump into it, it doesn’t seem to want to work.

Well, today, about an hour and a half from our destination we stopped for gas. I had this sinking feeling inside that we were going to get bad gas but, of course, I squished the thought and we filled up anyway.

A few moments later, we found ourselves nearly breaking down on the side of the road (lurch, chug, lurch, chug…etc..). Fortunately, we were still close to the little town so we turned around (praying we would make it to a car repair place) and searched frantically for a mechanic. First stop (4:45PM): “We’re closing soon. You can bring it back tomorrow, if you want.” Great. Nice man.

Next stop: The mechanic came out (who was much more accommodating, by the way) and at first agreed with my suspicion that we probably had filled up with bad gas. But after hooking the van up to his gadget thingy (for what seemed like forever) he said that we had a bad sensor (we’ve already had a few of those replaced in the past several weeks). After about an hour of messing with his gadget thingy he finally got around to going inside and calling a place to see if they had the part. A little while later, he came out and informed us that the part wouldn’t be available until the next morning. Not good for us, considering my first concert tomorrow begins at 12:00PM.

Needing the van to be repaired was bad enough, but having to rent a van (and unload our van into another van) would be even more difficult (for obvious reasons).

As we headed for the car rental place I turned to my mother and said, “You know, I really think we filled up the tank with bad gas. While we may still have a bad sensor, I think we should just head to Tallahassee. God will get us there.”

We decided to drive to a gas station for some gas treatment. A friendly gentleman told me that we might also want to use some “dry” gas treatment. After pouring a red bottle of “wet” (?) gas treatment into our fuel tank, we drove to an auto parts store and purchased some “dry” gas treatment (you can see how much I know about cars…ha…). Someone at the store hooked the van up to another mechanical thingy and told us that the machine was also saying something bad about the transmission. Greeeeaaat. However, it was possible that the transmission thingy was acting up because of the bad gas. Hmm. Should we still risk it? I was still feeling the “yes.”

My mother and I had to make a decision tonight: to do what made sense (and what would cost quite a bit) or to go on and risk breaking down again. Both of us felt the Lord telling us that if we went ahead with our trip, we would make it. And you know what? We did.

The moral of this story: We can’t always depend on what others tell us to do or even what we think may be the “wise” thing to do. While it is very important to use wisdom when we make decisions, we must remember that sometimes God’s instructions completely contradict what our “head” (or other people) tells us.

(Moral number two: When you have a “sinking feeling” about something, even if it’s a silly thing like gas: don’t ignore it! *smile*)

I learned something about faith tonight. It really is “the conviction of things not seen.” It is doing what God says, regardless of the risk. It is trusting that God will be faithful to cause everything to work out for His glory, as long as we put our hope in Him.

Now, don’t go out and do something presumptuous or foolish. But if you are facing a crisis, pray; and don’t be afraid if God gives you instructions that don’t seem to make sense. You’ll know if it’s His voice. Just trust Him and no matter what happens, things will turn out OK. (Even if we broke down on the way to Tallahassee it would have been OK.)

Please pray for this ministry. There are so many things that go into each one of these concerts and we desperately need the favor of God to shine through. Pray also for our vehicle. Pray that God either heals it, or provides another one. I know He is able.

Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. . . . Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 10:35-11:1

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