My daughter was on her way out of town for the summer to work at a church camp when her ‘73 VW bug broke down -it’s not the first time either. We live in the Dallas area and she travels all over the northern part to see friends in the many neighboring towns. But nearly every time that she heads south -like to San Antonio- I get a call when she is somewhere near I-20 (one of the main highways on the very south end of the metro area. This time it was the clutch cable that broke.
The strange thing about this incident was that I had a dream the night before. In it, somehow, I was told that I should explain how she could get around temporarily without using the clutch. I did it with my first bug for a short time so I knew it could be done. Why am I telling you about the dream? I hope it doesn’t make me sound like I’m prophetic -because I’m not (at least not in that sense). I’m convinced that God was telling me to not be surprised when it happened. It’s so easy for my flesh to say things that are hurtful; and they can’t be retracted afterwards.
So when that phone call came early in the morning -about 1:30, I merely asked her where she was, put the tow bar in the van, and went to get her. There was no anger at her for waking me early, no resentment toward the little car that has its breakdowns, and no frustrations at myself for not having provided a better car. There was an inner peace -you know the one- the peace that surpasses all understanding.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge -that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16–19)
So on the way -it takes about 45 minutes to get where she was stuck from our house- I asked God what this message was about today. He somehow talks to me. It’s not a booming voice from the mountain, not someone behind me in the car seat, not even a slightly audible whisper. Rather, the answers to my question are just there. I can’t explain it any better. I ask Him a question and often He gives me the answer -frequently, it’s right away. (Of course there are times when there is no answer, but that’s not the case this time.)
So what was the answer? It was simple and at the same time it was profound. “When your daughter was home with you she didn’t spend much time with you. You two didn’t hang out together, take walks, or just sit and talk about things that were important. She was so busy with friends that she had no time for you. So I helped by providing time for you two to be together. And you know it’s that way with you and Me, too, Doug. You have been so busy with your ‘life’ that we haven’t had time to talk about those things that really matter. If it wasn’t for your ‘breakdowns’, we would never have visits. Your daughter goes about her life with no need for you until something like this happens. She turns to you for fixing her car because she is helpless in that area. In the same way I put obstacles in your path so that you come to Me for help.”
Dad’s are so awesome. My heavenly Dad explained so much about life during that early morning drive to get my darling girl. And she and I had quite a visit on the way back to the house. She had been having troubles with a friend of hers that was very distressing. Her friend -her best friend- has been distant lately and it’s really hurting her. The situation won’t be resolved in the near future; it takes a long time to work through these things. We are still talking about it -she asks for my advice. And I talk to my ‘Dad’ about it as well. By the way, she was back on the road about noon. (Thanks ‘Dad’ for making this car repair so easy this time!)