01
Aug
10

Divine Breakdown

We were getting near Chicago when the lights turned on, only a third of our way toward CAMPUS LEADS. As it was, we were only going to catch the last day and a half of meetings. But we were going to get there. I had hoped to bring more students along, but was glad to have one companion knowing the powerful effect these meetings had in my life and ministry.

I did not mention the lights to him. They were all on. The engine light, the battery, and one that would flick on and off. They were on, and mentioning it would help anything. I was pretty certain the battery was dead, or more likely the alternator. Either way we were going to have to stop at some point and my Volvo wasn’t going to start.

My mind started racing on how I was going to get us there. Find a mechanic or rental shop. But everyone would be closing up by now. Really I couldn’t do anything, so I prayed that God would provide, and help me to see his will if things didn’t go the way I wanted them to.

We stopped for gas and planned to get food. As expected the car stopped and did not start again. Our neighbor in the gas stall was kind enough to give us a jump, having been in the same situation recently. We used his GPS to track down a mechanic and rental dealer. But we didn’t make it that far.

As soon as we exited the highway, a stop light caught us and the car stalled. Eventually one person knew what hazard lights on a car in the middle of the road meant, and helped push us off the road. We then waited for the emergency service we’d called to come help us out.

My mind was still trying to find ways out. Should I get a battery from the Walmart across the street? Why didn’t I get a rental for this trip like I had planned? I tried to put those thoughts away. The sabbath was coming and I knew it would take some time to quiet my mind in preparation. Had I not prayed that God would work this out? That he would find a way for us to get there, and if not, we would see his will?

And so we waited. Not too much later a man pulled up in a funky old purple car and started talking to us. His left hand on the wheel and his right on a diagnostic computer. He had a shop down the street and wondered if we wanted him to get his tow truck? Of course! We canceled the emergency service and waited for his return.

When we got to his shop, we established all the local rental places were closed for the day. Fortunately we had broke down close to O’Hare where rental shops are 24/7, and Pete, our mechanic, was willing to give us a ride.

On the way we talked and figured out what we were going to do. Pete was going out of town for the weekend, and I’d need to come back Monday to get the car. I’d probably have to take time off work for the trip, but not much point in worrying with nothing I could do about it.

We got to the airport, got a car, and as we left the sun began to set. We knew we’d have to skip dinner and wait for breakfast. Thankfully we had an uneventful remainder of the trip, arriving safely at LEADS much later than intended.

That sabbath was a blessing. We could enjoy the messages more knowing God had brought us there. And they were just those needed for the time.

Sunday, Pete contacted me. He wasn’t content knowing I’d have to make an extra trip back to pick up the car, and said he’d have the car done by 4:00pm! We left that LEADS knowing everything had been worked out.

At the car shop, Pete explained the problem. The alternator belt had been installed wrong at its last repair. It was mistakenly connected to the A/C pulley on the engine, and soon or later it was going to snap. It just happened to do it here.

As it turns out, Pete had spent some time at a dealer installing the A/C on Volvos coming from the factory allowing him to spot the problem immediately. He also fixed a loose latch on my hood which had bothered me for a while, and the stubborn door hinges which bothered everyone who entered my car. Not only was my car working, but was more of a joy to drive.

I thanked Pete profusely, and we headed on our way. But not before leaving him with a thank-you gift. Steps to Christ and Desire of Ages. He was overjoyed to receive them and said he would start reading them that day.

I had prayed God would let us complete and journey and that his will be done. Yet I am still amazed to see how he provided, leading us to be served and to serve.

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