Philippians 4:19 (NLT)
19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 7:11 (NLT)
11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
In 1974 I moved 6 hours away from home to attend College. At the end of my freshman year I decided that I would not return home for summer break. I took the brave step of calling home to inform my parents, that I had made the decision to stay in town and find a job for the summer. My plan was to work until school started back again in the fall. Quite frankly, the thought of going back to the farm and working in the cotton fields was not appealing to me at all. I knew I would miss my family, but I was eighteen almost nineteen, and I was ready to make my own decisions.
My College roommate and I decided to get an apartment together. We both landed jobs at the local Pizza Inn. Things were really going well for us, until my roommate had to move back home unexpectedly. You see she had a car and I didn’t. Because she knew my situation, she had always been so generous in offering me rides when I needed them. When my roommate left suddenly, things that I typically didn’t have to be concerned about like, grocery shopping, running errands, having a way home after working late nights at the restaurant, had now all become more challenging. All of my other friends from College had left and gone back home for Summer vacation, and now my roommate was gone as well. I had no means of transportation, so I had to do a lot of walking. Interestingly enough, as I look back on it, I didn’t stress over it. I didn’t even really think about it that much. I just did what I had to do, and in my mind that was still better than working on the farm in the fields.
Many nights during the summer I could not leave the restaurant until 12-1 AM and on the weekends it was closer to 2 AM, because the restaurant was open later on Friday and Saturday nights.
One night while I was working, I looked up and to my surprise my mom and dad and one of my brothers walked through the door of the restaurant. I could not believe it! They drove into town and I had no clue that they were coming. I was so excited to see them and shocked all at the same time. You see I had not seen them since Christmas. In those days we did not have the luxury of cell phones or face time, only home phones and snail mail. After the hugs and hellos, my dad asked if I could step outside for a minute. To my amazement my dad had purchased a royal blue Volkswagen Super Beetle for me to drive.
I could not believe it! You see I had never asked my parents for a car.I knew that they had three younger children still at home, and I was attending a private College which was quite pricey, so I was content with that.
Apparently my parents had a conversation regarding my situation and decided that it was time for me to have my own car. I know my parents well enough to know, that they probably were not that excited about me walking home alone from work on late nights, or catching rides from work with people I didn’t really know.
As I stood there looking at this little blue car that was all mine now, it suddenly dawned on me that I did not know how to drive a stick shift. I had only driven an automatic. Since this was a turn around trip, my dad had my brother to give me some quick lessons before they got back on the road going home. They had come to town just to deliver the car, and they drove back home that same night so they could be back by the next morning.
I must admit I popped my clutch everywhere I went for about two weeks.
I did find out however, that a friend of mine knew someone in town that had an old truck with a stick shift in it. They asked him if he would be willing to teach me how to drive a stick shift, since I was still having problems. He said he would be happy to do that, so we went out to a big parking lot and drove around several times until I got it.
Finally, I could make that smooth transition from the clutch to the accelerator with no problem.
To this day, when I visit with friends that I went to College with, my blue Volkswagen always seems to come up in the conversation somehow. I feel very sure that no other Volkswagen has hauled as many people at one time as I could manage to pack in that little car. Thank goodness this all happened before seat belts were mandatory. I must admit those were some super fun times with my friends, and memories were created that I will forever treasure because of my little blue surprise.
I would like to share a few things that God taught me from this experience:
1. God knows our needs before we ask. If you are in need of something rest in knowing that God has not forgotten you? He knew about your need, long before you did. Our God is an Awesome provider.
Matthew 6:8 (NLT)
8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!
2. God loves surprising us with more than we expect.
2 Chronicles 1:11-12
God said to Solomon, “Because your greatest desire is to help your people, and you did not ask for wealth, riches, fame, or even the death of your enemies or a long life, but rather you asked for wisdom and knowledge to properly govern my people— 12 I will certainly give you the wisdom and knowledge you requested. But I will also give you wealth, riches, and fame such as no other king has had before you or will ever have in the future!”
Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
3. Another lesson God has taught me from this little experience, is that no matter how well you think you have things planned out, He has the final say, because, He is really the one in control. I had to learn to be flexible.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)
9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
4. God’s protective hand was over me day and night.
Psalm 139:5 (NLV)
5 You have closed me in from behind and in front. And You have laid Your hand upon me.
Psalm 34:20 (MSG)
20 He’s your bodyguard, shielding every bone; not even a finger gets broken.
Psalm 121:5-6 (HCSB)
5 The Lord protects you; the Lord is a shelter right by your side.[a] 6 The sun will not strike you by day or the moon by night.
5. He also taught me that although I thought I was grown and I wanted to be independent and on my own, I still needed my family. God created family for a reason.
Ruth 1:9-10 (NKJV)
9 The Lord grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband.” So she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. 10 And they said to her, “Surely we will return with you to your people.”
Ruth 1:14-16 (NKJV)
14 Then they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. 15 And she said, “Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” 16 But Ruth said:
“Entreat me not to leave you,
Or to turn back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go;
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
And your God, my God.
6. He provides for us through the hands of others.
Joshua 2:12-14 (NKJV)
12 Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a true token, 13 and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.”14 So the men answered her, “Our lives for yours, if none of you tell this business of ours. And it shall be, when the Lord has given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with you.”
7. Many times when God blesses us, it requires that we re- adjust in some way.
In this case I had to learn a new way of driving to enjoy the blessing. Sometimes blessings require that we grow in some way.
12 Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family
And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you.
8. Don’t ever give up when things get hard, persevere! I could have given up and left when I found out that my roommate was leaving, but I stuck it out. I was not even aware the blessing that was in store for me, and that was only one of the blessings that came my way that summer. Many other blessings followed. Trust God, He always does what’s best for us!
Deuteronomy 1:21 (NLT)
21 Look! He has placed the land in front of you. Go and occupy it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has promised you. Don’t be afraid! Don’t be discouraged!’
Psalm 37:19 (NLT)
19 They will not be disgraced in hard times; even in famine they will have more than enough.