Webster defines faith as complete trust or confidence in someone or something. It’s a good place to be, trusting God completely when it seems the situation is bleak. With that in mind, let’s talk about car troubles and faith, because honestly, those go hand in hand, right? I’m almost certain they do.
In 2009, we returned to the USA after living in South Africa to have some time off, a sabbatical, if you will. We left our home with what we could fit in several bags. Obviously, furniture, a car, those were things that we were going to need to obtain somehow. My husband’s grandparents graciously gave us their gold caddy. Notice I said gold, not old, although either description would have been totally accurate. Caddies are cool…for a certain age group. I didn’t think we quite fit into that age group, but it was ours, and we were forever thankful.
We were cruising along one day, the cool family in the gold caddy, when the car went into sub par performance. All of a sudden, top speed was somewhere in the 35-40 mph zone. Not good. The transmission was tired and decided it didn’t want to operate as it should anymore. Ugh. Car problems. They are never convenient, are they?
We opted out of fixing the car since it would cost us more than it was worth. It suddenly turned from an inconvenient situation to a praying opportunity for our family! Our kids, eight and six at the time, eagerly joined in with believing and trusting God that He was going to provide. We drove around the slow, gold caddy for weeks, waiting and waiting. There’s lessons to be learned in the waiting, lessons of trusting God beyond the borders of where we think we can and believing He’s got our best in mind. In the waiting, my kids offered up some crazy prayers. “Please can we have a yellow car with flames on the side.” I was secretly hoping God let that prayer go in one ear and out the other.
I’ll never forget the day God provided. The kids were at school when my husband and I went and picked up God’s provision for us, a new-to-us minivan. It was beautiful and perfect. When the kids got inside, they said nothing. Nothing! You can’t mistake a gold caddy for a minivan. You just can’t, so I asked, “Don’t you want to know why we’re in this minivan? It’s ours!” Hoops and hollers resounded followed by a “Thank You, Jesus!” It was an honest mistake. Weeks of waiting with the 40 mph caddy, we borrowed many cars for trips that required longer distances. They thought it was just another car we borrowed. The look of surprise and joy on their faces made me realize that inviting them into something as simple as believing God for a vehicle was the right decision.
It helped them see that there is goodness in the waiting, that God wants to provide in His timing.
Over the course of my nineteen year stint in full-time ministry, I’ve had a few moments (wink, wink) of trusting God completely for something. You would think it would somehow get easy. It does not. Every time, when I’m struggling with the same fears and worries, I tell myself, “I should know this. I’ve been in this place before.” Then I remember. When Jesus asks you to walk on water, it’s scary, because we can’t see how it’s possible. Our only option is to trust, and it’s through the struggle of trusting that our faith is strengthened.
That’s what I want my kids to learn in this journey of trusting God, that faith only gets strengthened through the struggle, through the absolute dependence on God. It’s a process that doesn’t end with us arriving at this majestic destination on this Earth. It’s recognizing the fear and worry, and leaning on God instead of ourselves. After all, He always has our best in mind.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. Psalm 20:7
If you can’t see any faith-building opportunities on the horizon, start with reading daily devotions with your kids. There’s so many stories in the Bible of people trusting God for big things. A great new devotional is Duck Commander Devotions for Kids! It’s full of hilarious stories from the Robertson family that point kids to a relationship with God.
Do you have any stories of trusting God as a family for something that seemed BIG? How did it impact your kids?