Right before John and I got married, he’d purchased a new car that was sleek, had a monster engine, and could hit speeds I’d never driven before.
I know because I used to drive that car to the school where I taught on country roads. I hit 110 miles per hour.
What a rush.
Years later, when we had our first child, we became more sedate and got a station wagon. Utilitarian, sturdy, totally lacking in personality.
The appropriate car for the appropriate time.
That was the last new car we bought for years. We purchased used cars that lasted through the wear and tear of six kids learning to drive. They wore their weariness like a badge of honor, with dings, rust, and some with parts held together with duct tape.
This past February, we bought our first new car in decades. John had been driving a twenty-year-old Saturn that was lacking air conditioning, problematic here in Florida. Not having a car payment for years made us hesitant. The need to get from point A to point B safely and purposefully drove the need. We purchased an end-of-the-year model with a warranty, guaranteed air conditioning, and a new-car scent that we hadn’t experienced for years.
One month after purchase, I got rear-ended at a stoplight. The gentleman who hit me was abrupt and didn’t want to give me his information. But I stood there until he did, not even thinking about taking a picture of his license plate. I’ve never been rear-ended before.
When I called my insurance company, the information he’d given me was false. They empathized with me, but you can’t go after payment from someone who doesn’t exist.
We have to replace our whole bumper.
Our new car, with all the promise of a smooth and easy drive, was in need of repair.
Last week I was driving home and ran over a drill bit. A large object that shouldn’t have embedded itself in my tire, but it did, not just making it flat, but requiring it to be replaced.
We have less than 2,000 miles on this thing.
How often do I think something new and sparkly will make life easier? That something I don’t yet have will be what I need to satisfy my inner longings of success or peace?
The Bible warns that horses and armies won’t save us. The security measures throughout time were strong armies and wise kings. The reality is that they are fallible–armies are defeated, kings and rulers fail us. Yet so many put their hopes in the one sitting in power. Only to be disappointed.
God alone can save us from our fears and anxieties, from the situations we can’t control. He does it by meeting us at our heart need, caring for our concerns as we give them to Him. Leaning into His power for the peace that all of us long for–especially in such troubling times.
Leaders will always disappoint. The security provided by those tasked with protecting us will always be limited.
God has no limits. His delight in those who rely on Him is endless.
We don’t need new cars or new anything to save us in our mess.
What we need is fresh faith in the One who is truly God Almighty.