Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Leap Year

This past weekend, by God's grace, we were able to go home.
Jon's second round of tests went great.
God is good and helped him remember everything he had studied weeks before.

Our weeks had been good. Until our car broke down...again.
This time with no lasting or even reasonably priced repair. It was a frustrating time. Discouraging.
Something in the engine broke. Anyways, we've been without a car since last Tuesday.

It is amazing how a blessing can turn into a curse, just to turn into a blessing again.

Why do I say that? because this car was a blessing for us. Newlyweds, with little income and nothing that we really owned. This car was passed unto us from the family. It was a good car. Big enough to protect us and carry all of our stuff for moving time. Big enough to take our friends to the cabin, big enough for the dogs and cats to come along. It took us where we needed to go.

Then, it started to become a little bit of a curse. As gas kept going up and up and up...and  up, we tried not to drive as much. Then if it wasn't the seats ripping open, the cats peeing inside the car and leaving a nasty smell for months, the AC not working, the heating not heating as fast, the CD player no longer working, problems with the break, problems with the starter...and finally the engine breaking. I may have missed other problems it had, but you get the picture. Of course nothing was fixed for free...or cheap.
We loved the car because it had been a trooper. Last for a long time and gone through alot. But just the thought of "now what?!, what's next to break down?!" would keep us frustrated and discouraged. Not to mention stressed out about the finances.

But again, it became a blessing. Now this may sound crazy, but the car breaking down is a real blessing. Not because we won't have to fix it again - we'll actually need to get awhole new (used) car! It has become a blessing because now that we do not have it we are learning to "walk" by faith (in quotes  because we'll actually have to walk more now that we don't have a vehicle! lol). It was very hard the first couple of days (and still is) to understand that it IS true when the bible says:

Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? “And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Matthew 6:26-33

Jon and I both struggled to put our full trust in the Lord during those first couple of days. I have felt many times useless and unable to provide. Many times worried on how to make the little food that we have last for a week. I could see us frustrated and worried trying to figure out how we'd get places. Yet, the Lord always provides for our needs. Even for our earthly desires. We wanted to go home visit family and celebrate my father in law's birthday (He was born on Feb. 29th! Leap year baby!). We could have waited a few more weeks to go visit. We could have apologized and it wouldn't have been life or death if we didn't go. It was not a necessity, just a desire. Yet, our Father in heaven provided for that. A friend of ours (who we hardly ever run into because he is traveling for school all the time) was going home too. We were unable to bring our cats because of car space, but we were able to go and spend the weekend with family and friends. It was so good!!

This car situation is a real blessing to our spiritual growth. We are learning to depend more and more on God. We are also continuing to learn to leave our pride aside and receive help from others. Many times that is also our struggle. Everybody is quick to offer help, but few of us understand the blessing of having an open heart to receive. To allow others to bless us. We are always afraid to be looked upon as taking advantage of others, or being lazy, or even be looked at as "the favorite ones" when others are continually helping us. However, I have come to understand that God uses every situation he possibly can to bless us. Materially and Spiritually. I have learnt that having an open heart to receive from others is a way to practice receiving from God. To stop thinking "I can do it on my own, I don't need you". And finally and oportunity and/or excuse to in the future, when we are allowed to have more, return the favors. Not because we are obligated to, but as a way to bless those who blessed us in the past. To show appreciation and love. To do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

So yes, this past weekend was great. God blessed us in many ways with family, friends, health, birthdays, great food, and a means of transportation.

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