By a worker in Spain
We have been going through the Old Testament in our children’s clubs. Through many of these lessons God has taught me lessons in my own life as well. A lesson we taught recently was the Bible story of Elijah and the widow. Elijah didn’t provide the widow with 100 more bowls of flour and 100 more jars of oil, he provided one bowl and one jar that never ran out―for three years. God miraculously provided for each daily need. As the widow needed to learn to depend on God, day by day, for her daily sustenance, God has been teaching me to trust in His provision, day by day. In all my years on the mission field, God has always provided financially. This year, however, things got really tight when I started having lots of car problems. A number of months ago the stick shift popped out of place and I had to call the tow truck to haul it to the mechanic. In the end, I needed to replace the clutch, which cost quite a bit. The following month, I had to change the timing belt, the other belt (whose name I don’t remember), the oil and all the filters. Not much later, the car didn’t pass the annual car inspection (twice), which is kind of like the CA smog check, except much more thorough—they check everything, even the seat belts. The next month, my car started to shake while driving, so I needed to replace the two front tires. By now, each month was getting more difficult, but I was still able to keep my head above water.
One day at church, I shared the above passage as an encouragement to those who have been suffering through the financial crisis here in Spain. Two days later, after taking a friend to the airport, water leaked from my car, and it overheated. The temperature gauge went all the way to the red line and the red light started to flash. I had to stop on the highway and call the tow truck again. The mechanic said the gasket was deformed and gave me an estimate of 600-700 Euros ($730-850 USD). I told him to take his time in fixing the car because it was money I didn’t have. As I walked home that day, I couldn’t hold back the tears. I cried in frustration to the Lord, and then in a gentle whisper, He reminded me that just two days earlier, I had shared that we need to trust in God day by day. They were words that I needed to learn and practice. I needed to trust in God for every need, day by day.
I didn’t have my car for a month. Since I use it a lot for ministry, it made things more inconvenient, and I couldn’t pick up kids for the kids’ clubs. Yet, all in all, it wasn’t bad, and I kind of enjoyed the time walking, except for when it was really hot. Walking everywhere reminded me of my first year in Almeria. When my car was finally ready, I still didn’t have enough to pay for it, so I was going to borrow from some friends, but that same day, God provided! A church gave an offering just when I needed.