Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Spiritual lessons from my fuel pump...

It is amazing to me how God can use even the smallest things to remind me of His sovereignty. I have no great or new spiritual insights to reveal but just a gentle reminder of how He holds all things in His hands.

Christmas Eve day last year we were on our way to church. We made a stop and when we tried to start the truck again it was dead....like the proverbial doornail. I spent the rest of the morning trying to reach my Mom, so she could bring the children home (tow trucks are ill-equipped for more than one or two!) and waiting for the tow truck to arrive.

Turns out it was my fuel pump. It was replaced and life continued on without another thought about it for sometime. In March, Josiah drove the truck from our driveway over to the barnyard to load some things. Less than five minutes later he tried to drive it back and we were back to the doornail. No grinding...in fact no noise at all.....aaahhhhh.....flashback to the fuel pump. It turned out to be a component to the fuel pump - which was replaced. A few weeks later we had a hard time starting the truck before church - but it finally caught. We drove there (quite a distance) without much incidence but after services it was dead again. Quite a few of the men at church stopped to help - again it was diagnosed as the fuel pump. Again I called the tow truck!

The fuel pump was removed and tested and declared to be fine. Not an easy task since it sits INSIDE the fuel tank (this means siphoning the tank and taking it off....and why does this happen right after I fill the tank?). Once the fuel pump was re-installed it seemed to work fine....most of the time! There have been many days when you can feel the engine shuddering - it just doesn't feel like it is getting the correct amount of fuel (this diagnosis is from a woman who knows NOTHING about engines!).

On one of our recent trips to the "big city" it died at a red light....actually I think we saw that light turn red 5 or 6 times as we sat there. (Warning: rabbit trail......) You know....people in big cities are not nearly as patient or kind when it comes to traffic delays as people in small country towns! Come on people....did you really think I was sitting there just to aggravate you or to enjoy the mountain views??? Perhaps city people are just too busy or perpetually late....

I told the boys to start praying....which we did....and after a few minutes the truck started fine. We thanked God and moved on, much to the relief of those stuck behind us. It is unnerving to get in your vehicle, especially with children, knowing full well that you have no assurance that you will arrive at your destination....or even more importantly....that you will get home.

I began thanking God each time my truck started. I have been doing this for well over a month now. This little act has been used by God to get me thinking a little deeper about His sovereignty. As I began to audibly thank God each time my truck started, I began to dwell on the fact that His hand is on every aspect of our lives. This was not news to me...I've been walking with God for almost 30 years! But it was used by Him to remind me that He is in the little things as well as the big - a reminder that is very relevant in my life at this time.

My meditations didn't stop with my truck either! I was reminded that we know not what the next day, hour, minute will bring. The fact that my children wake up each morning is in the hands of God. Each beat of my heart is in the hands of God. When we drive on busy roads filled with wacky drivers (who are eating, drinking, yelling at speaking to their kids and chatting on the cell...all simultaneously!) and arrive home safely without incident it is in the hands of God.

We take so much for granted....that our children will always be safe and healthy, that we can go anywhere and come home safely, that our health is always going to be there, that life is good and nothing bad will come across our threshold....I think it is part of the American mindset.

Christians in countries where persecution abounds don't think this way. I read a book a couple of years ago about living life as a Christian in China. It is called Safely Home by Randy Alcorn. You can click on the Amazon link in my sidebar to find this book. I know that this book is fiction but I think it probably has a lot more truth in it than we realize. In this book, Christian children in China are taught to ask themselves each morning..."Is this the day that I die?".... helping them to realize and be prepared that each day they might face death for serving the God of all creation.

I think sometimes we need reminders that we are not owed anything by God.....that there are no guarantees .....that in fact the whole "take up your cross daily" thing is for real! I find that I am seeing and acknowledging God and His involvement in my life in the smallest things much more often and in ways that I have not before. I am finding that a deeper gratitude is growing in my heart for the little things I used to take for granted and that I am seeing the hand of God even more clearly in those little things. We serve a Mighty God!! He cares about the smallest details of our life and He desires us to acknowledge His involvement in those little details!

As I said in the beginning, no new revelations here! Sometimes, at least for me, it helps to have someone say the obvious....I think sometimes I just need to hear it from someone else to remind me of basic Biblical truth. It knocks the complacency out of me! Perhaps today this post was written for me...to put down on paper what I have been mulling in my heart and perhaps it is for my children to read some day. Perhaps I have been "preaching to the choir" but my prayer is that it encourages one of you as much as I have been encouraged these last few months.


  1. Or perhaps you and me both.

    I was encouraged...and I received some confirmation from it as well.

    Thank you, Darlin'.

  2. Thanks for the gentle reminder that I need to thank God more often than I currently do.

  3. It's so true that we (I!) take our blessings for granted!

    If your truck is by any chance a Ford, let me know. We had tons of trouble with our '94 Explorer and God has been very gracious. I think we've finally got the problem figured out.

  4. Hi Julie!
    That is cool!
    Love to all!

    You're so welcome!

    My truck is a Chevy Suburban....but thanks for trying to help!

  5. When we first moved into our basement we had to use a bucket for a toilet; when we finally had the septic system installed, I remember thanking the Lord every time I used it! How easily that thankfulness slips away as the system is taken for granted. You are right, it's so important to cultivate that attitude of thankfulness for everything.

  6. Hi Lynn,
    You are right...we get complacent way to easily. We begin to take things for granted...like the story of the $100 bill...have you heard it?

  7. So true and so wonderful to be reminded of:)

  8. Maybe you better blog about the hundred dollar bill! I haven't heard of that one!


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