My family has always been rather fortunate with cars. We have never spent more than $10,000 out of our own pocket, and two of the cars were, essentially, free. (My very first car was free; the story is in Abundant Gifts. )
Our latest car was not only free, but has an amazing story with it that shows something of God’s mercy and ability to make much out of little.
Perhaps one of the reasons we have been so fortunate with cars is, we’re not picky. We take what God gives and we drive the cars almost until they give up the ghost. Such was the case with the car my young adult son was driving. We knew we had to replace it so started praying about it, several months ago. We “put out the word” and looked at ads. At the time, we didn’t have much money to put toward a vehicle.
One evening, when the car was parked in the Target parking lot where my son worked, someone smashed into it. The person was honest enough to go into the store and find the owner (my son). (First miracles? The owner didn’t just take off, and she found my son.)
In the end, we got $2000 from their insurance company. “Do you realize what God just did?” I said to my son. “He just dropped $2000 in our lap toward a new car. Nobody was hurt, you didn’t get into an accident. You were doing what you were supposed to be doing, and God provided this. Isn’t that cool?” I reminded him I’d been praying.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. It was the end of spring break, the door handle to the car had broken off. It was time to replace that car! David had come up with no leads. I heard a report on the news that Japanese car parts were going to be difficult to find. I suggested David call our mechanics, who had advised us to look for a used Japanese car, to see if the report was true.
It just so happened that the day before, Lance, our mechanic, had gotten the car from his sister-in-law, who had recently died, and was about to sell it. It was a Toyota Avalon, high mileage, but in good shape. He was asking $1500 for it. We looked it over, asked him to fix a few things, and for less than $2000, we had a replacement vehicle.
“You realize,” David said, “that it cost us less than $2000.” Yes, indeed. Our free car.
But here’s the real God part. That car had belonged to a woman with 3 children. Brenda had struggled with complications from treatment for Hodgkins disease for a couple of decades. The father of these children, ages 13,9, and 7, had died last August. Brenda was on Social Security disability because of her health, and there is no estate to speak of. Suddenly Emily, Amanda, and Gabriel have no parents. Cara. Brenda’s mother, is quitting her job to care for them.
I cannot think of my “new” car, nor drive it, nor even think of this provision, without praying for this family. I believe God gave us this car because he wants me to pray often for them. It is not just a free car, it is a car with a spiritual invitation to participate in God’s involvement with the family who once also rode in it.
Won’t you join me? Pray for Cara, the grandmother who is answering the call to care for these children. Pray for the church that is graciously reaching out to the family. Pray for Emily, Amanda, and Gabe. Amanda (9) especially is struggling at this time. She said to Cara, “It’s not fair. Everyone else has at least one parent. It’s not fair.” Pray that these children will know they have a loving heavenly Father who is watching over them.
And if you feel led to participate in this family’s well-being in a tangible way, please use the Donate button to give whatever you feel God lays on your heart. There is a fund set up for the children and your entire donation will go to that.
UPDATE, 6/17/217: This post was originally written in 2011. Six years later, after putting in only $2500 in further major repairs, the car finally gave up the ghost while my daughter was driving it in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I don’t know how many miles were put on the car all together, but it certainly has been a great provision.
(And, now that we’re looking for another car for my daughter, I’m asking God to “do it again!” I don’t expect another free car–though I’d welcome it–but some kind of surprise because God is so creative, and I’m learning he likes surprises!)