Several years ago my wife and I decided that our large, comfortable, older car had a lot of miles and we should get a newer one. We found that our car, which is always garaged, was as clean and fresh as the almost new used cars we were looking at. So we kept it. It now has over 178,000 miles, but is comfortable and dependable - until recently.

We were on our way to Tennessee and Kentucky when I hit a bump on I-40 in North Carolina. Soon after, I noticed a vibration. North of Knoxville, Tennessee the vibration got worse, much worse, to the point that I wondered if I could make it to the next exit on I-75. I discovered that the belts had separated on one of my apparently good tires. The first praise is that the spare tire had sufficient air in it. I changed the tire in 96 degree weather and limped up I-75 to our hotel with the warning lights on.

We had planned on going to a gospel concert that evening with family that had joined us. Wondering if I would make it to the next exit, changing the tire in unseasonable heat, and all the delay had caused a stressful situation. However, we were able to make it to the concert on time in my sister’s car.

When we returned from the concert, I discovered that I had left the flashing lights on which had run down the battery. We called AAA the next morning, but I was worried that when the jumper cables were put on the car the alarm would go off, waking up everyone in the hotel. More stress.

I was blessed to find a tire store that handled Michelin tires in the small Tennessee town near our hotel. But, as they were replacing the tire, someone pointed out that water was flowing out of my radiator. The tire store did not do radiator work, but pointed me to another shop.

I left a trail of water on the way. I thought I was OK when they discovered that the small petcock (a drain valve) was leaking. However, cars now have radiators with plastic parts that cannot be repaired. Again, I was blessed because they found a replacement radiator for my sixteen year-old car in the same small town. So, on a Saturday morning, in a small town, we were able to get the car repaired, were soon on our way and only forty-five minutes late for the next family event, a reunion in Kentucky.

All the time that I was sweating, worrying and wearing out my credit card, I knew that God is sovereign. His plan is perfect. I was not a happy camper, but I knew that His will is perfect. Upon reflection, the Lord was watching over me. The tire could have blown out causing us to wreck, and the radiator could have failed a few miles later as we drove over Jellico Mountain. This is a mountain with a special lane for trucks because the grade is so steep. A failed radiator could have caused damage to the motor or the antique transmission. As it was, the previous inconvenience and stress eliminated those possibilities.

From the world’s view, this is sad tale. But I realized that our God is involved in and cares about the details of our lives. He watches over us, and His will is perfect. I would have rather had the problems while driving at home, but the conditions (heat and highway speeds) would not have been there to cause them.

As I think back, this series of mechanical failures was really minor. There are Brothers and Sisters in Christ who daily go through real tests, and retain their faith because they know His will is perfect.

May we all trust the Lord, keep close to Him, recognize that His will is perfect and praise Him in all things.

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