This has been a week in which I have been enormously blessed by the Lord. The Lord has met an urgent need for me in a truly amazing way – especially as I didn’t originally consider that there was going to be a need! Perhaps, as with so many things in the past, I had buried my head in the sand, and told myself: ‘I won’t be bothered with that now, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it’. In this case, the Lord moved the bridge for me!
I hesitated about sharing this, as I try not to be a materialistic person. I believe that the Lord should always come before any material possessions that we have. To me, a car is a handy piece of equipment for efficiently getting me around, not, I hope, an object of pride. But the timing is so amazing that I believe that this is of Him…
My old car, a Nissan Micra, which I originally bought new back in 1993, had served me very well. It was small and very cheap to run (very important given the extremely high level of fuel tax here in the UK). However, it was getting very old – nearly 150,000 miles on the clock. Maintenance bills were starting to creep up, although I had an easy ride this year with the MOT (it passed with no work required to be done). However parts were beginning to wear out and needed replacement, so maintenance bills were beginning to increase in price. I had originally hoped that it would last me through until I retire, but I was beginning to doubt whether it would last even that long, given the enormous amount of use it has had. I could not see that little car going on for another 50,000 miles, which is what I would probably cover between now and the time I retire. But it’s been a faithful servant for the last seven years and given me very little trouble.
Back in August I was involved in a serious road accident, in which a French lorry driver rammed the side of my car when emerging from a slip road, and dragged me along sideways, causing a lot of damage to the left hand side. Had the road surface not been wet, allowing the car to slide sideways, my car could have been completely crunched, and me along with it. An insurance company assessor examined the damage and decreed that my old Nissan was beyond economical repair. The cost of repairing it would have been greater than its value. It was to be ‘written off’.
Replacing my car was an expense that I hadn’t budgeted for. Nevertheless, I started to look around, but the cost of replacing it was more than I had hoped. Last week, quite out of the blue, I received a cheque from the Inland Revenue which amounted to almost half the value of a new car. I had been paying too much tax for three years. The payout from the insurance was generous (more than I had hoped) and amounted to about a quarter of the value of a new one. The interest on my savings (paid in August) was also about a quarter of the value of a new car. As if that wasn’t enough, all this has happened at a time when the car I have now bought (a Hyundai Accent) was on special offer. They were selling them at about 12½ % below the normal list price for a limited time! Had I waited until next week, the price would have gone up to more than I can afford! Some people may put all this sort of thing down to ‘coincidence’ – but I only believe in ‘God-incidence’.
I don’t know why the Lord allowed me to be forced into a situation whereby my car would be written off and I would need to replace it. I was quite happy with the old one. In fact I was extremely sad to see it go! It was like losing a faithful old friend – even though it is, in reality, just a cleverly assembled collection of bits of metal, rubber and plastic (it’s ridiculous how we get sentimental and ‘humanize’ cars, as though they have feelings!). I have to admit, I was beginning to get a little concerned about how much longer that little Nissan would continue to get me around. But I have to assume that the Lord had a reason for allowing this to happen. In His amazing way, the Lord has provided a need where I didn’t even think there was going to be one! But then He, and He alone, knows what’s in our future. Once before, about 15 years ago, the Lord met an urgent need in an amazing way, but I’ll share that another time.