Adam looked at me over his phone as we sat in our his-and-hers-chairs in the cubbie-hole office room of our house, “Am I a patient person?” he asked.
I put down what I was doing and looked back at him. “Yes.” I answered.
Then, like we were playing catch I threw the question back at him… “Am I?”
We instantly cracked up together, knowing I am not!
Feeling the need to defend myself I said, “I can be patient when someone says, Julie BE PATIENT! It’s just that otherwise I think my job is to keep kicking the ball down the road towards the goal line no matter what obstacles are in the way!”
I may not naturally be a patient person, but I’m thankful God is. Even before all this COVID virus stuff, the Lord taught our family a lesson in His patience – how He waits for us to see and understand things from His perspective.
It all started over a month ago. It was a Wednesday night and our two teenagers were on their way home from youth group. At about 9:30 my oldest called. They were on the side of the road. The truck had died and it sounded like the alternator went out. Adam told them to stay put, lock the doors and he would be there in 15 minutes.
As Adam drove to pick them up, I paced around the house, praying for God to keep them safe in the vehicle on the dark county road.
With nothing to tow the inoperable ’99 Ford Ranger, they had to leave it, with plans to hit O’Reilly’s in the morning, purchase the alternator, then drive out to install it.
In the morning, Dad and son left out about 8:00. I didn’t hear from them for about two hours and assumed everything was going smoothly and as planned.
Then about 10:30 I get a text. It was a picture. Underneath it read: Here’s all that was left of my truck when we got here.
All that was in the picture was some broken glass and muddy tire tracks. But no truck. My stomach sank. I texted back, just to clarify – So someone stole it??!!
So instead of installing an alternator for the past 2.5 hours, Adam and Caleb had been filing a police report and driving down the back roads, looking for an out-of-place truck.
Caleb had saved for 2 years for this truck and just the day before had replaced all four shocks himself! He’d had the transmission rebuilt, added keyless entry, cruise control, a bed liner and we gave him a toolbox for Christmas. All gone just like that.
We were all deflated to say the least.
We decided to get through the weekend before making any plans, just see if something turned up. Thursday went by, then Friday, Saturday, and finally Sunday. By Monday morning there was still no news. We were all bummed. The reality that it was just gone had set in.
We all wrestled with thoughts of This isn’t fair! We didn’t do anything wrong! Why did this happen? We see cars parked on the side of the road all the time!
But all that didn’t change the reality that Caleb’s truck was gone.
So here comes the neat part.
A few weeks later, a family member called and said they had some money they felt like God was saying to give it to Caleb. And were we OK with that? We discussed it and agreed, not knowing any details of how much.
Well, it turned out to be exactly what we estimated Caleb had spent on the truck that was stolen!
It’s so fun when God works that way!
Caleb was so thankful that he had some money to buy a new truck with. Now our weekends became booked with driving to Tyler, Canton and even Whitehouse looking at trucks we’d found for sale online.
But nothing was working out.
One day on my way to the office, I noticed a little black Nissan truck for sale at a local business, and told Caleb about it. Adam saw it and mentioned it too. Caleb drove by it the next day and thought it looked too new to be in his price range.
A week went by and we continued to look at every other truck available except the black Nissan.
Finally, one day after lunch Adam actually stopped to look at the Nissan and test drove it. It was newer than Caleb’s Ranger, but had under 100,000 miles and was in his price range!
Caleb went to drive it later that day and by the next morning the keys were in his hand!
When we all got home that evening Caleb said to me, with his shoulders slightly drooped “It was just right there the whole time!”
Yep. I told Caleb God was just waiting on us – HIM!- to see it! Waiting patiently. Not a I-can’t-believe-you-don’t-get-it-yet kind of patience. But a I’ll-hold-this-right-here-until-you-do-see-it kind of patience.
I’m thankful for a God who is patient and who provides just what we need when we need it. And I’m thankful for how He teaches my kids too!
In the words of 1 Timothy 3:15-17 “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever!”