Monday, June 16, 2008

I Know What I Want...

God is truly amazing.

About four years ago we received a vehicle as a donation. It was a 95 Chevy Astro Van, and though it had an enormous dent in the front and three hundred thousand miles on the odometer, it was exactly what we needed. After all, our previous donated vehicle, a 75 Econoline Van, while having fewer miles on it, only got about eight miles to the gallon. Not exactly economical.

Over the years, however, the Astro began showing it's miles, if not it's chronological age. One by one, the doors refused to open until finally we had to take the handles off of the back doors and the driver's door was the only other one that opened from the outside. Seat belts began to break. And the engine itself would stall out.

We fixed what we could, but the cumulative effect was overwheming and too much for our budget. I knew that there was little to be done for it, and that the vehicle was quickly to give up the ghost. So I did what we always do when we have an issue we can't deal with-- I prayed. I simply asked the Lord for a new van, because the other one was soon to run out.

This last month, actually, has been a bit overwheming as far as donations go. We made a commitment to pay about 500 dollars a month for rent and utilities for partial use of a church, and, amazingly, our congregation has been able to cover the majority of this on their own. The amount of food we have been receiving the last few weeks has been overwhelming-- so much so that a couple of the people in the house have begun calling me the "food magnet". And we were invited to wander around a church building and to take anything we want, as it was to be leveled in the next week. So, all in all, it has been a good month. The Lord has provided amazingly.

Then I get a call from my conference minister, Duncan. He says that another pastor in the Mennonite Conference-- Rod, the pastor of another Mennonite congregation in Portland-- has gotten a call from a member of his congregation saying that they were looking for someone to donate their vehicle to, as they were returning to England. Duncan says that's it's a small Toyota, but we might use it. I was thinking that an economical car might do us some good, when we didn't have to drive the van, so I called Rod about it.

When I called Rod, I found out that the vehicle wasn't a small car. It was a van. With less than a hundred thousand miles on it.

Okay, perhaps my voice showed my excitement when I called the folks who owned the van, I don't know, but it was excactly what I prayed for. It is a practically new van, in excellent condition, even with a storage container that locks on the top. The gas milage is just a bit better than the Astro, but the most important qualities are:

The doors all work-- including sliding doors on both sides!
And the seat belts all work!

Isn't that wonderful!

God is just so amazing.

* * *

For those interested in the source of my title, it is from a Daniel Amos song called "A New Car". The lyrics are as follows:

"I know what I want
I know what I need
I know what I want
I want a
(Johhny from the Price Is Right says) A New Car!

"I'm one of the kings kids
(I want a blessing)
I'm one of the king's kids
(I want a blessing)
I'm one of the king's kids
I deserve the best
I want
A New Car!"

Obviously, the DA song is satire against Christians who think they can get what comforts they think they deserve by demanding from God as if He were some giant Santa Claus. I hope and pray that this isn't my attitude.

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