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The Father Knows All About Your Busted Minivan

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Do you depend upon Christ moment-by-moment—for big things and little things?

Two weeks ago, while backing out of the driveway, we ran over a child’s scooter with a loud crunch and a pop. We blew a tire. The next day I went to the tire store and found that all the remaining tires were in the red zone, and Discount Tire recommended replacing them. Thankfully, I had just enough money to buy two tires. And by the next week, I had just enough money to buy two more.

But when I went to the Nissan dealership to align the tires, I received some very bad news. They couldn’t align the tires because the control arms, struts, and shock absorbers were damaged, and it would cost over $3200 to fix the very minimum that would need to be fixed.

Now what?

Frankly, the old Shawn—the Olympic-level worrier in me—would sink into a depression that would last for days (just ask Abby!). But this past summer—this past very stressful summer—the Lord did a life-altering work in me and taught me something vital about the Christian life, i.e., that it’s not lived by self-effort but by faith. It’s not lived by the mile but by the inch. I’m not only justified by faith but I’m sanctified by faith, too, one moment at a time, as I depend upon the indwelling Christ.

Now, that’s fine in theory, but how do you do that when the mechanic gives you a huge repair estimate?

When I got the bad news, I remembered something that Robert Chapman would say when bad things happened: “The Father knows all about it.” Do you remember what Jesus said about prayer?

“When you pray, don’t babble like the Gentiles, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask him” (Matt 6:7-8, emphasis added).

The Father already knew what I needed. He knew all about my Nissan Quest and what I needed to keep it on the road. None of this comes as a surprise to Him, and none of it is unaccounted for.

Knowing that God knows might not be very comforting, but I also know that God provides. As Jesus goes on to teach, we pray to the Lord for our daily bread. Elsewhere, He promises to supply all that we need:

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you” (Matt 6:33).

God is a supplier—a provider. Consider two more promises:

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1).

And here’s one from Paul:

“And my God will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19).

Living moment-by-moment by faith in Jesus means being single-minded, not double-minded, about promises such as these (Jas 1:6-7). Living by faith excludes living by doubt.

Now, I don’t know what God will do, but I trust He will do something good and provide whatever it is I need. I’m not trusting in my mechanic, van, or bank account: I’m trusting in Christ. I’m occupying myself with Him, not my problems.

Thought for the day: Believing in God to supply the tires is one area of faith where the rubber literally meets the road.

Edit 11/9/22: How did the Lord provide? I took the van to a second garage, which found none of the damage claimed by the Nissan dealership and they recommended a much cheaper repair, which I had just enough money to pay. And best of all, by reckoning all these events to Christ, and trusting them to Him, I had peace, instead of depression.


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