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Lord, Keep This Car Running

By Pastor Casey Higgins

The Lord will keep them from all harm, He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Psalm 121:7,8

I was nearing the end of my two years of classroom and clinical studies for Marriage and Family Therapy. Now I was looking for employment, and needing to find a job quickly as both student loans and living expenses were needing to be paid. A special concern was our family car. It had traveled many miles while we were doing pastoral work before going back to school; now it was showing its age acutely. Not only was the body rusted out, but also the transmission was constantly slipping out of gear. I was praying daily, “Lord, please keep this car running until I find work and can get a small loan to purchase another vehicle.”

The weeks and months went by before I received a call from the Minnesota Conference about interviewing for a church district in that state. Fortunately, we were living in Wisconsin, and it was only a 75-mile drive to the conference office from our apartment. At the appointed time, we drove to the conference office and were taken by the president to the church district for an interview and meeting with the churches and their leaders.

The following day we returned to the conference office and concluded all the necessary paperwork for employment, then gratefully we went to the parking lot where we had parked our car a day or two earlier and prepared to head back home in Wisconsin.

For some reason, it did not want to start. Now I am not a mechanic of any sort, but when I opened the hood of the car, even I knew that we had a definite problem. The carburetor was lying over on its side, on top of the engine. Do not ask me how it came loose or how it got that way while we were driving to the appointment. I don’t know. Nevertheless, that was the way it was when I opened the hood.

I did my best at putting it back on, tightening it to the engine. Then I got back in the car and tried to start the engine once more. At first it wouldn’t start. We bowed our heads and prayed, asking God to please help the car run again and get us back to our apartment. I didn’t want to walk back into the office and ask for a ride home! God graciously answered our prayer and the car started and ran, albeit very roughly, the whole trip home, allowing us to travel only about 45 miles per hour through the Twin Cities. Then, when we pulled into our parking lot, it sputtered and died, not to run or start again, ever!

That experience, while quite stressful and worrisome at the time, became another lesson and indicator of God’s direction and will for out lives. It not only reassured us of God’s hearing and answering prayer, but of His divine timing and providing of employment. Of His will for us to take that call and be confident of His equipping us for that work. Yes, God does “watch over our coming and going.” In fact, it is His grace that helps us get there and back. Do not forget to invite and then thank Him for His watchful care of your travels.