When we had finally finished our dinner last night, since we had started it about two hours later than normal, I leaned back on the couch and noticed that something was different in me. We had taken delivery of our new Mustang earlier in the day and had spent the entire afternoon and early evening hours finishing the organization and cleaning of our garage, checking out the new vehicle and doing a bunch of driving around town!
It was kind of a sight to see when the eighteen wheeler pulled into our apartment community. I was a little surprised to see him actually come in because the driver and I had already discussed the logistics of our neighborhood and he had decided to stay outside on the main road similar to the driver of the truck that delivered our Buick from California. As it turns out, his surprise entrance made the presentation very effective as the back of his truck was loaded with about five beater cars and then on the lower ramp at the very end sat our pristine Mustang GT! It is even cleaner than it looked in all the online pictures.
The young driver commented that he had to call his wife as soon as he picked up the car because it was so clean and sharp compared to the rest of his load. His also expressed to me his love for Mustangs explaining that he has already owned six of them over the recent years!
As I investigated that feeling inside of me, I realized that I was feeling something that I hadn’t felt in a long time. I had a definite sense of peace, satisfaction and completion about me! This morning as I prayed about those feeling I began to see, no matter how funny this may sound, that a part of me had been replaced. It was like a big void in me had been filled.
Since the early days of our marriage we have always had a “sensible” car. You know, the family car. The one you use to pull the trailer, take on family vacations, carry the bulky loads from the grocery and warehouse stores and transport the kids to all their activities throughout the week. Now that’s not to say that our utility car had to look normal. My wife always insisted on a set of mags, wide tires and a bright color. It took quite a bit of convincing to get her to agree to a green Suburban instead of the fire engine red one she originally wanted… that big vehicle made for just a little too much red for me!
Along with the family car though, we always have had a “fun” vehicle. One that I normally drove during the week and the one my wife and I took for our date nights and weekend get always to the coast. Until last night, I hadn’t really ever considered that this vehicle was my refuge from the stress of the world. After a rough day at work, driving my MG, 208Z, four wheel drive Bronco, sport pickup or /Camaro offered a sanctuary and a de-stressing environment for me to unwind in. I guess it made me feel a little special as well.
Early yesterday evening as we drove back into our community with the top down, we passed an older lady (REALITY CHECK… she is probably about as old as me!) walking her two little dogs. When we drove by she stopped, gave us a thumbs up and shouted: “That’s a nice car!” I think that I must have been smiling from ear to ear. That just felt good!
Then, the more I thought about it, I understood how difficult and different the last eight years have been for my wife and I. Over that time period we had uprooted part of our family, reduced our fleet to the utility car and moved to Oklahoma, began to earnestly deal with my wife’s health difficulties, worked through emotional, family and financial hardships and then returned to our hometown in California to discover a whole new set of tough changes with our families, our church and my job.
Now as I look back, I can readily see how the Lord wanted us to learn to COMPLETELY depend on Him, His love and His resources. I can honestly declare that after all that, I am a changed man! I have come to see that His love is the only thing that matters. It is the most powerful force on this planet. It has the ability to change minds, heal our bodies, repair damaged relationships and give us that peace that surpasses all understanding. Ephesians 3:19 tells us that Christ’s love “goes beyond all knowledge” (God’s Word ©)
Our new car parked in our well organized and swept clean garage is just another sign of His love for us! It feels like He has said, “Now you’re ready to have that part of you returned!” And you know what? It feels good and it feels right! I Peter chapter five gives us a lot of instructions for our interactions with other Christians. As I read those words this morning I was reminded of all of our experiences over the last eight years. But the final salutation of Paul’s at the very end of the book puts it all into order when he wrote: “Greet one another with the kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.” (God’s Word ©) In my way of thinking, he was telling us to leave the stamp or kiss of His love on every interaction and every situation that you are involved with in this life, and when you do you will experience His peace like I experienced on the couch last night, because we are living and acting in Christ! Have a great day. Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom am I expecting today?”