Have you ever experienced a situation that began as an irritating problem but quickly turned into an answered prayer?
I had one of these this afternoon and I had to write about it because it is a small testament to GOD's faithfulness and provision.
Two years ago my wife Holly and I bought a used vehicle.
It was three years old when we bought it.
And I recall thinking when we bought it that I needed to check the battery to see if it should be replaced. So one weekend, I raised the hood to look at the battery and was quite surprised to see that the battery wasn't located in its "proper" place next to the engine.
Seeing this, I lowered the hood and researched online where the battery was located. I found that it was actually behind the front passenger side seat in the floor board.
"What?!? What an absurd place to put a battery," I thought. (By the way, a sure sign of getting older is when you catch yourself complaining about how things "just aren't made like they used to be." Sigh.)
For whatever reason(s), I never got around to actually replacing that battery.
Now, I don't know about you, but I'm no mechanic.
Experiencing car trouble—especially away from home or the office—is a fairly scary thing for me because I have very little ability to troubleshoot, much less resolve any car problems. So one of my frequent prayer requests is for GOD to bless us with safe travels and keep the vehicles running.
And when you drive an aging fourteen-year-old vehicle like I do, these prayer requests become more... um, fervent... as time progresses.
So this "need to replace that battery" thought has been nagging me for a while now.
But money has been pretty tight so I'm putting it off a while longer. And I just kept praying, "GOD please help me change the battery when it's time. Help me get it taken care of before it strands us somewhere."
(Pro tip: One thing I've learned as I've gotten a few years of experience behind me is how very little I really know, and to better appreciate the amazing access we have to the All-knowing Source. In other words, I've learned to ask and lean more heavily on GOD's wisdom to "prompt" or otherwise cause to occur that which I desire or need—or, in this case, wish to prevent.)
So, I left the office a little earlier than normal today based on recent trends. I thought I'd go home and put in some extra study time because I have a technical certification exam this Friday and I'm stressing over it because I feel I've struggled to retain the information necessary to pass.
I get home, change clothes, sit on the couch, read a few pages and the phone rings.
"What? The car won't start?"
Great. Just great.
Here I am needing to study for this test and now I gotta drive halfway across town. This is gonna kill my entire evening.
"Okay honey, I'll change clothes again and pack up my tools (because that's going to be super useful for me, the awesome mechanic, right?) and head that way ASAP."
At this point, as you might imagine, I'm feeling pretty frustrated. I catch myself pretty quickly and try to focus on the positives, such as the fact she's safe and not on the side of the road (something GOD keeps providing for us whenever we do have car trouble, by the way ... answered prayer perhaps???). But it's still frustrating.
I get halfway there and Holly calls me back.
"The car started up on me after a while," she said. "It's running now."
If I've ever been more pleased to make a U-turn, I can't remember when.
"Okay great! Take it straight to the auto parts store close to our house. I'll meet you there."
Not only this, but a friend who lives in our neighborhood happened to be with Holly and was able to follow her until I met up with them near the auto parts store.
So I happily bought the new battery and watched (yay!) as the store employee replaced the old one for me. Good as new.
And I still had time to study for my exam this evening. And because of that, I decided I needed to write this post as a tiny tribute and thank you to GOD who continually blesses me in ways I could never deserve.
Truly, sometimes life's blessings are disguised as problems.
Praise GOD for His goodness and provision over life's big things and the small.
Thanks for reading. I feel compelled to close this post by noting that this "problem" I faced today was so incredibly minor.
So many people in the world—perhaps even you—are dealing with problems way more significant than this.
I may not know what you're dealing with but I know that you are dealing with something because you're human and we all have problems—sometimes small like this little battery story, and sometimes big, like battling cancer or losing a loved one.
Whatever you're going through, let me encourage you to lean upon GOD and not your own understanding (see Prov. 3:5-6).
And if I can ever help you or pray for you, let me know.
Have you ever had a problem that turned into a tremendous blessing or answered prayer? I'd like to hear about it. Leave a comment and share what GOD did for you.