It had been days since I put on any make-up. Or pants other than sweat pants. Or shoes. But today was the day! After weeks of sickness, the boys were finally well enough to leave our quarantine and venture out to one of our most favorite places — the library! We all dressed, packed some things, and headed out the door. Freedom! The sun was shining and the breeze felt like spring. Nothing could stop this first outing in a week! Nothing except our car not starting, that is.
Now I had a choice to make, you see. I could react in frustration and drench myself with self-pity. Or I could remain calm, accept a situation I could really do nothing about, and thank the Lord for reminding me that I really am not in charge. By God’s grace, I chose the latter, took Elias out of his car seat, and cheerfully told the boys that Noah (our van) is “kaputt” and that we’d be playing outside instead. Just then, I heard a beeping sound. I looked up and saw all the gauges on the van’s dashboard move. I frowned, turned the key, and the car started.
“Gott hat Noah repariert!” came the joy-filled voice of my 4-year old from the back seat. God fixed Noah.
Now I don’t know anything about cars, but it seems to me that cars don’t just refuse to turn on, and then, all of a sudden, decide to start after all. God seems to be a pretty good mechanic.
Our last weeks have been kind of like that one sunny morning. We make plans. We prepare. We go forth with confidence and excitement. And then something goes “kaputt” and things just don’t work out. Which is where God steps in if we let him.
After finishing our training in Missouri, we had grand plans about starting our support raising phase of life right away, getting all these things done before heading to Africa on our short-term trip, being ready to hit the road running once we got back. Well, things happened. Things like Christmas and trying to organize all of your belongings while living out of a suitcase, and packing big storage containers with stuff you’ll need for the next four years, and being totally wiped out from jet-lag days and days, and then everyone getting sick with this nasty bug that shut us down for weeks. Not as we planned.
Because despite all those things going “kaputt” the Lord showed us, over and over again, that He’s in control, and not us. Through unexpected text messages asking how to start supporting us. Through people telling us they pray for us often. Through putting the same person on John’s and my heart just to find out minutes later they have joined our support team. Through missionaries giving generously to other missionaries. Through a church wanting to do a big fundraiser for us.
Reminder after reminder…He’s the one turning on the car.