The Red Car Miracle
Last Friday's devotional relating a miracle-car story, inspired Nina Pence to share the following:
"In 1991, I became an abandoned wife with two young girls to raise on a Christian, school-teacher's salary. Through the emotional storms of a divorce, I chose to trust the Lord, one step, sometimes one minute, at a time. I survived by finding, and living, in a place of prayer. I prayed for the Lord to help me keep a right attitude and relationship with Him, and to help me forgive my soon-to-be ex-husband and his girlfriend. God faithfully sustained me and helped me forgive despite the emotional upheavals.
"Over the next few months, I took inspiration from a book I was reading by George Mueller. I often had to copy his prayer practices and faith for food, a place to live, and more. I learned to ask, 'Is this a want or a need?' and if it was a need, I knew I could take it to the Lord, and he would provide.
"This all leads me to the story of my miracle car. I was awarded our old Jeep Wrangler in the divorce settlement because it was paid off. It had a leaky, canvas top, and the floorboard was rusting out with a good-sized hole right beside the accelerator pedal. The doors popped open every time I hit the slightest bump, so, I had to tie them shut to keep my young daughters safe. Neither the windshield wipers, nor the gas gauge worked. I became quite adept at squinting through rain drops and calculating mileage between fill ups.
"When I finally reached a more stable place financially, I began toying with the idea of what I would need in a car from a practical standpoint. So, one rainy day, I dropped the girls off at school, and was heading home, squinting through the water running down my windshield, when I decided to talk to my Lord and best Friend about it. I started out saying, 'Lord, I think I NEED a new car.' I paused, remembering my measuring rod, then asked, 'Is it a WANT or a NEED?' At that moment, I hit a large puddle in the road and muddy water sprayed through the floorboard and up my leg.... 'It's definitely a need,' I muttered.
"While driving the next several blocks, I prayed in detail about the needed car, and I mean details. The car needed to be: reliable, less than two years old, under $5,000, stick-shift for better gas mileage (and simpler engine), private seller (so there would be no dealer markup), under $165 per month payments, and other numerous details. After getting through all my practical requirements, I got a little silly with the Lord, and said, 'And Lord, I want it to be red; you know, the kind of red you can shine up, and see your face in.' I don't even know why I said it. Immediately, I got serious again and humbly said, 'Lord, I know me, I would buy a lemon. So, I won't buy any car unless I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's Your will.'
"That afternoon the phone rang. I was surprised anyone knew my new number. It was my sister-in-law who immediately asked, 'Would you be interested in a new car?'
"At first I hedged, and said, 'I don't know if I can afford a car right now.' She started describing a car, that her friend had bought a year and a half before, and now needed out from under the payments. Something in that description reminded me of my morning prayer, so I asked, 'How much does she want for it?'
"The answer started the hair on the back of my neck to rise, because she owed less than five thousand dollars on it, and her payments were only $164 dollars a month. With that answer also sounding familiar, I asked, 'What kind of car is it?'
"My sister-in-law answered word for word, 'It's a 1989 Chevy Cavalier, and it's the prettiest red; you know, the kind of red you can shine up and see your face in. It has a standard engine, and I knew you could drive a stick-shift....'
"By then, I was a puddle of tears, and I could barely get my voice to work as I interrupted her to say, 'I would be very interested in that car.'
"The Lord helped me secure a loan, and I drove 'the little red car' for over thirteen years. I finally gave it to a young mother in our church who was going through a divorce and needed a car to get back and forth to work. She, too, drove it for several years. The story of 'the little red car' has been a witness of God's provision to my daughters, my students, and many others to whom I have told my story. I pray it will continue to inspire other peoples' faith."
"Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear" (Isaiah 65:24).