Blessed Lord Jesus, You who used Your suffering to beautify everything You did, teach me the art of turning every test into a testimony and every tragedy into a triumph.
Salah and I drive a 2006 blue Mitsubishi Raider durocross 4x4 truck.
I drive it to work during the winter months when the weather and the roads are unpredictable.
Back in February, we noticed an odd metal on metal clanking when we would make a turn or when the truck went over any bumps. Being the on top of things owners we are, we continued to drive it without taking it in to be inspected. I drive 100 miles a day [5 days a week]. Knowing a potential hazard was eminent, I went slower and slowed down for the bumps in the road [since I drive the same road everyday, I knew ahead where most of the bumps were]. Every time we were driving in the truck together, Salah would mention how we needed to take the truck in to be inspected for the sound. This continued until after the last snow, I parked the truck in the garage and drove the Aveo [our other car] to work. Now that I was more confident that the weather and roads would be safer, I could drive the Aveo which is better on gas.
Last week, Salah took the truck in for an oil change. While he was waiting, he told them about the sound and if they would check what might be causing it. They did. Salah emailed me at work telling me he had bad news about the truck and he would share that news with me when I got home that evening. The rest of the day I worried about what it was and how much it was going to cost. *Sigh* Just when we get a little bit ahead.
I arrive home that evening with an expectant husband bursting with the news 'the tie rod is very bad. It could break ANY time' *heart sinks* Thinking how many trips to work I had driven in that 'it could break ANY time' condition and survived! Thankful the Lord watches over me and keeps me safe.
Salah called a friend and asked for a recommendation on where to take it. He called the place on Thursday. They told him to bring it on Friday [Good Friday]. Having that day off, I stayed at home while Salah took the truck to get an estimate. I was finishing my breakfast when the phone rang about an hour later. It was Salah. It was in fact the same news 'the tie rod is very bad. It could break at ANY time. The front breaks are bad too.' *Sigh* He gave me the quote of how much it would be to repair both. *Ok, honey it has to be done, ugh* They were able to do it that same day. *phew* I went to pick up Salah and we continued with the rest our day.
We went back to pick up the truck later that afternoon. I followed Salah home. Half way home, Salah pulls the truck over. He walks over to me in the Aveo and tells me "They did not fix it. It has the same sound." He asks me if I want to drive it so I could hear it for myself. *sigh* I declined. I trusted what he heard. We got home and reviewed the scenario. Salah was so upset. I tried to reassure him that it would be work out. He told me not to be so naïve. *sigh* My heart just aches when I see Salah get himself worked up. Not to say I wasn't upset too. But, he and I handle stress differently, he rushes right into the thick of it and I take a breath to step back. Not sure which is the better way, I guess it depends on the situation.
We knew we would have to go back and discuss the issue with the shop that repaired the truck. He spent the rest of the evening brewing about the confrontation we were facing the next day. He kept stating how could they just take our money and not really fix it. I kept reassuring him we are forever faced with life's trust issues and the Lord would help us work it out. I refused to allow the devil to steal our peace. I quietly whispered a prayer for help. Poor Salah, he tossed and turned all night with frustration and worry.
So the next morning, Saturday came. We discussed whether to drive both vehicles in case they had to keep the truck. We decided we would just drive the truck. We got in the truck and headed out to face the challenge. As we drove, I listened for the sound that had developed into this test of faith. The road leading to Leaf River is not too bumpy so it sounded normal. We approached the railroad tracks. This would be the test. Over the tracks the truck went, I heard nothing other than the regular road noise from the tires and the rattling you expect going over railroad tracks.
Salah said to me, "There you hear!"
I was quiet. Then I said, "No, I do not hear. That is not the same clanking we heard before the repair. That is normal sounds of a vehicle."
He said, "Wait. You will hear it."
We continued down the road out of Leaf River. I asked Salah to make a left turn on one of the country roads. I told him the sound was really bad when the truck made a left turn. So he did as I asked. *quiet* I think he stopped breathing in order to make sure I would hear the dooming clank sound. No sound. We continued down the road. Over several bumps. *pause* No sound.
He says to me, "I was not dreaming yesterday on our way back home. The sound WAS STILL THERE!"
I reassured him, "I am sure it was. That is how God works. He does cool things like that. He takes our doubts and fears and turns them around into a miracle. Even if it is a tie rod on a truck."
We drove around on the back roads a little bit longer. Making several left turns. Going over several bumpy roads. No sound ever heard. We did not have to go confront the issue of it not being repaired. God had repaired the situation already for us.
We drove to Rockford instead. We went to Woodman's to get groceries. As we were checking out, the young man who was cashiering seemed to be in a bad mood. If you have ever been to a Woodman's [it is a HUGE grocery store], they are constantly busy. Anyway, Salah greets the young man who tells us "It is not a good day for me." Salah begins to share the story of the truck.
He tells the young man, "You know I started my day in the worst mood too. We had our truck repaired yesterday. When we drove it home, it still made the sound it did before it was repaired. I spent my whole evening upset about it. I did not even sleep because I was upset it wasn't fixed. I woke this morning in an even worse mood knowing I had to go argue with them about not fixing it. I was convinced they had not done the job."
I let Salah tell the young man the story of the truck. I observed the young man react to the story. The whole time Salah was talking the young man kept his head down and continued to ring up the items. The young man barely smiled.
Salah continued with the story. He got to the part where we went over the tracks and how we tried taking it over bumpy roads. Salah asked the young man, "Do you know what happened when we did that?"
The young man looked up for the first time, saying, "No, what happened?"
"God fixed it! He made it so I would not have to go and get angry with them. He made me see how He fixes EVERYTHING," Salah told the young man as they looked at each other face to face.
The young man smiled, broadly, at Salah and said, "Thank You."
Moral of the story: God wants to be included in ALL aspects of our lives. Not just the 'major areas', He wants to be included even the tedious little areas of having a tie rod repaired.
"But before people can ask the Lord for help, they must believe, in him; and before they can believe in him, they must hear about him; and for them to hear about the Lord, someone must tell them." ~Romans 10:14 New Century Version