After thirteen years of fairly reliable service as a fossil-fuel burning member of our family, my wife Minda’s Saturn appeared to be giving up the ghost.
In very short order we replaced the battery, starter, radiator, coil packs, spark plug wires, fuel pressure regulator, motor mounts (right side), and the serpentine belt. After approximately $1500, I said “Enough!” And the Saturn took it to heart and has been running beautifully ever since.
The next day my Ford’s alternator went out and the battery died!
Some might look at the situation and say “What a weird coincidence!” Others might curse and say, “Man I have bad luck!” I did a little of both and then wondered, “Is God trying to tell me something? Or is Satan sending his combustion-engine-minions out en masse?”
My friend Doug suggested I ask God straight out what was going on. So I did. Didn’t get an answer right away, but the next morning I noticed Minda had written out chapter one from Haggai and left it sitting on the table for her women’s bible study evening. I read through it bleary-eyed as I sipped my coffee. About halfway through, it hit me: this was God’s answer!
You see, God tells Haggai to ask the people and their leader, Zerubbabel, “What about my house?” They had laid the foundation for the new temple, but then started working on their own homes, planting their crops, and living a life with God down near the bottom of the list.
That certainly pertained to my situation. I had a good relationship with God, and as head of our family, felt I was doing a good job of building a residence for Jesus to live in our life. But, I hadn’t cracked the bible in the last few months. I had stopped my daily reading of Oswald Chambers a week-and-a-half ago. I had even let my morning bible study with my son Andrew, fall to the wayside.
I had stopped building the temple.
The Israelites noticed their harvests were dwindling because of drought. I suspect if they had owned cars, the radiators would have leaked.
Fortunately, the people heard Haggai’s word and “showed reverence for the Lord” (1:12). And they got busy on the Lord’s temple.
God rewarded them, first by reminding them that “I am with you”. Twice in fact. And He told them, “from this day on I will bless you.” And He told Zerubbabel, the leader, that “…I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you”.
I would love to be God’s signet ring!
I believe God used the car problems to call me back to His side, to remind me to “build His house, so he can build mine.” I’m sharpening my saw.