A Test and a Miracle
Several weeks ago, I wrote a blog about our attitude when things seem to be going wrong (see “We Don’t Know”). I wrote that Jacob was convinced that “Everything was against him” (Genesis 42:36), but he did not know that God was birthing the greatest miracle of his life. Little did I know that God was going to allow me to go through a circumstance that was seemingly VERY bad, but would, in the end, turn out for my good.
I decided one Saturday morning to return a jacket I bought online to the store where I purchased it, which was about an hour away from where I live. I was about half-way there when a flashing light came on my car dashboard. At first, I thought I would just continue as planned. Then I sensed that I should return home, so I turned around and headed back to Springfield.
I did not stop at my home but went immediately to the car dealership. I was told that it would be a couple of hours before they could discover the problem, so one of the men graciously brought me home. Shortly thereafter, the dealership rep called to tell me that I needed a new engine. I was shocked! A 2020 car with 27,000 miles should not have this problem. He also told me, however, that the car was under warranty, that the repair would be paid for, and that they would reimburse me for a rental. He also said the repairs would take about two months.
I had difficulty releasing the problem completely to the Lord, so I experienced several weeks of stress, sleeplessness, and headaches. I felt uneasy driving the rental. I would pray and give the problem to the Lord, but then something else would come up about the situation. I was not handling it well.
The dealership offered to buy my car, but what they offered was minimal to what a replacement would cost and minimal to what the car was worth if the engine were good. Besides the 20 months of payments that I still owed, I would have 3-4 years of additional payments at 9.9% interest. It was simply mind boggling. I could not envision going further into debt for an older car with more mileage than what I had been driving. What should I do? How should I do it? Who should I talk to? And what should I say when I talk to someone? I had no idea.
I was assigned a case worker at the auto’s corporate office. When she called and asked what I would like, I told her that I would like for them to buy back my car. Several days later she called to say they would pay for a new engine and the rental car, but buying my old car was not an option. A friend told me that the repair would probably be much longer than the promised two months. Several others, including a mechanic, told me that the car would never function well again.
Days passed with no progress. When I called to ask the dealership questions, I was transferred from one department to another. No one seemingly wanted to be honest with me. Meanwhile, a friend from my Life Group told me she was still praying for a miracle.
About a week later, a salesperson from the dealership called. She said she had heard about my car problems; and now they would like to increase their purchase offer by $6,000.00. And she wanted to help get me find a different car. Several days after that, the corporate rep called to tell me that they would pay half of what I owed on the broken car. I could hardly believe what was happening.
Friends gave me advice about purchasing a car, the pros and cons of the ones I was looking at, and how to negotiate with the salesperson. To make a long story short, today I’m driving a different 2020 car with approximately the same mileage, and I owe nothing on the car. I do have a few payments for a service package I bought.
These past twp months or so have been stressful, but God has helped me to research options, to talk with people, and to choose the right vehicle. He gave me favor with people whom I’ve never met and helped me to sit quietly while waiting for answers. Solomon said, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). I hope I’ve learned my lesson.