Do you ever look back on something and think to yourself, “How did that even happen?” Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but it always makes you think. Growing up, my dad always enthusiastically described the crazy good moments with the same phrase “That was a total God thing!” It didn’t matter if it was about us or sports or someone we knew or even something we saw on the news. It was the crazy moments where God provided safety, security, or strength. He always called them “total God things!”
I think there are so many “total God things” hidden in each day you just need to know how to see them. Some of them we can see in the moment, like just barely missing a car accident or when a complete stranger walks up to you and offers you money for no reason when you really needed it. Or they can even be moments we look back on years later and God’s provision is almost leaping off the pages of the story. These are the ones that often stick out most because hindsight is 20/20. We so often forget the little moments every single day where God is watching, thinking about, and carrying us through the day (even the days when it does not feel like anyone is there at all). I had one of those “no one is watching out for me at all” moments the other day.
I was driving down Gilbert Road after visiting a friend across town and suddenly I saw some kind of gas. At first, I thought it was simply the exhaust from the large truck in front of me. Then after switching lanes, I assumed it was the heat coming off of my car (it was 116 degrees out after all). Then I was able to clearly identify that the gas/smoke was coming from the front left of my car. So I calmly called my husband and told him “Hey babe. My car is smoking and I am about to turn left on the 202 West. What should I do?” He was not very happy that I made the decision to get on the freeway but he still frantically came to help me. As I was driving to the next exit I turned on the heater in case my car was overheating. I think that is the one thing I actually remember from all the 80s VHS tapes I watched in my high school drivers ed class.
I calmly pulled into the parking lot at a gas station and sent Tucker my location. I then went inside to get a Gatorade because it was H-O-T outside/in my car. The attendant asked me how my day was going and I calmly told him it could be better because my car was smoking in the parking lot (not my finest moment). He clearly was hearing my words but not listening because he didn’t say anything to me and continued on with the next customer (not his finest moment either).
*cool lesson for ya here kids, Fire + Gas Station = Bad
Long story short, Tucker came to my rescue concluded that an AC hose was shot. We weren’t sure what the other problems were so he drove my car home (#Chivalry). We had to go out of town the next day so we kind of just said we would fix it when we got home and moved on with our lives.
Flash forward to today. We took my car in and just as we were leaving I asked Tucker to let the mechanic know about my brakes. My brakes have been acting weird and squeaking for a while so I thought maybe we should get that checked out. After a few hours, I got a call I had been dreading because car issues are never cheap and typically 20 times worse than you think. Is that just me? Anyways, the man told me that he thinks a rock or something was kicked up and put a hole in my condenser. Hello, big expense!
He then continued to tell me that my brakes needed some love. Apparently, my back brakes were completely broken and my front brake pads only had 1 mm left in them. I don’t know much about cars but I do know brakes are important and 1 mm is not enough to keep me safe. According to Google, your brake pads start out at 12 mm- ish. My car was struggling to brake because all of the force was going on my front brake pads (that were barely doing their job). It got me thinking about how that little inconvenience of getting a hole in my compressor could have potentially saved my life.
I have known that my brakes weren’t the best for a while. If I drive my car to visit my dad up north it is a struggle to slow down going back down the mountain. My mom knew, my husband knew, and even I knew that I should take my car in, but I didn’t.
How many things do we do on a daily basis that we know we shouldn’t, but do them anyway? Like driving a car with crappy brakes? Driving a car with a broken radio is one thing, but something that keeps you safe is another. Why is it so easy to forget to give God glory when he provides in the little ways? My first reaction when my car started smoking wasn’t to praise him (I was more concerned that I was about to meet him).
Sometimes things happen to us that really don’t make sense. “God, why now? was my first thought. “Why when we have been waiting on a paycheck but still serving you faithfully did you let my car brake?”
Sometimes things have to break to begin healing. Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. And sometimes the breaking is what prevents us from really getting hurt. And that is a total God thing.
I wish I had some big, cool point to make about the lesson I learned. The lesson I really learned is that when your brakes start acting weird and your mom tells you to take your car in, TAKE THE DANG CAR IN. But I really just want to give God glory and tell a story of how he provided and continues to provide for me even when things seem rough.
So, if you heard nothing else, here it is:
God is awesome. He has not forgotten about you. And sometimes the crappiest moments are blessings, you just have to learn to see them that way.