"Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."
When my wife and I moved to Louisville a year and a half ago, we did not know anybody in Louisville, nor did we have any clue where to start. Since then, God has blessed us with some tremendous people, two of which I would like to mention here.
These past two days have been quite eventful for my wife and me. Monday, my car broke down. We thought it was the starter, but then again it could have been the alternator (I was not raised under hood, so cut me some slack). I began to think to myself, "Great. Here I am in a big town, broke, and don't know anybody. I can't afford to have my car towed or get a rental car, and sure 'nough can fit the bill of an expensive mechanic."
So I shared my car problems with Dan, my good friend and co-worker at UPS, after sort. I asked him if he knew of a good mechanic in Louisville area, and quickly he replied, "Yep. You're looking at him." What I did not know is that Dan was
one of those fortunate ones to have grown up tinkering with cars and had quite a bit of knowledge. He graciously offered his services and followed me to my apartment - at 5:00 in the morning. This was especially kind of him, given that he lives an hour away and would be driving another 30 minutes out to my apartment.
To speed up the events, Dan and I slept for about 3 hours and attempted to figure out what was wrong. By the time Dan took the alternator out of the car, I had to go to class, and Dusti was planning on picking me up. He said that he wanted to take the alternator to AutoZone and get it checked and that he had a few hours to spare. So I left him there, and Dusti and I went to school. Later we found out that the alternator was fine, and we just needed to replace the battery.
Then the next "bump" in the road happened. Five minutes from school, we heard a huge thump like we ran over a huge rock or something. We ignored it and continued on to school. Pulling into the parking lot, the sound came back, except it was, "Ka-plup, ka-plup, ka-plup . . .". Yep, a blow-out - on the only other car we had. Dusti was off on her lunch break, and we were stuck at school with a huge storm on the horizon. So I called my good friend Brad, who upon hearing about what happened, offered his car to Dusti to go to work and chose to miss class and help me change the tire. We gratefully accepted the offer, and within a short matter of time, we had successfully changed the tire - and managed to stay dry. Later yesterday, Brad opened up his apartment to allow me to take a nap and allowed me to use his car to go to work.
I would love to go to greater lengths to share of the blessings I have received by God through his people in the last two days, but time permits me. My heart overflows with joy, gratefulness, and wonder. Driving home in Brad's car this morning, I began thinking, "Who needs a mechanic when you have a Dan Canales?" And "Who needs a rental car when you have a Brad Hughes?" And "Who needs to worry about a thing when you have a Father who will not let a sparrow fall to the ground without his permission?"
A great lesson I have learned today is how needy we (Dusti and I) are. We need God's providence. We need God's people - one another. Our dependence and utter reliance on the generosity and kindness stared me right in the face.
Coming to Louisville with little and knowing no one, we had a Father who knew our every need and supplied them according to his riches in glory. Those riches were manifest today, and I just want to say "thanks" to God for this bend in the road. If ever I realized that we do have family here in Louisville, it is now.
What Dan and Brad did on our behalf is nothing more than the outworking of the Spirit of Christ crying out "Abba, Father" as we together as his children show his love one to another. How humbling and how powerfully meaningful was this eventful day where the Body of Christ served one another in the Spirit of Christ (Philippians 2:1-5)!
Then I realized, "You don't find this in the world. The world doesn't treat us this way. They charge us too much, put us at the back of the line, and get around to us when it is convenient. But here are two brothers sacrificing their time and money, putting our interests before their own, and caring for us better than we deserve or could care for ourselves."
Truly, it is by the love that we have for one another that is the distinguishing badge of those who belong to Jesus.
While we may have two broke down cars at this moment, we have been given so much more. As I began to pull into our apartment a moment ago, I thought of these words. Maybe they can encapsulate what my heart has been feeling:
Thanks for the Bend
Thank you Lord for that roadway bend;
That I may see your providence and somehow comprehend
Your love and grace which you abundantly send.
I get so wound up that I fall to the ground;
Only to be found by Your truth - and that so sound.
Thank you for those flats and dead batteries;
For without it I would not have such precious memories.
Thank you for knowing my need before I ask;
And for beloved friends, fit for every task.
It is in those moments that I understand
That life is hardly about anything I had planned.
Instead, I should see the work of Your invisible hand,
And experience your love through people like Brad and Dan.
This week, I have had so many things on my mind to write about, so many I think that are important. But when I look in the rear-view mirror of life and see the past two days, there more important things in life worth writing about.
I hope that you don't mind me sharing a little of what a great God and Father I have, and how He has staggered us by providence to once again be blown away that He has called us His own. And to all of you who have invested in our lives, thank you. I cannot say it enough. Dusti and I cannot live without Jesus, and we do not want to live without you.