A small trail of smoke had been slipping through the seams of the hood since the last stoplight. Something wasn’t right. He lifted the hood of the car. Steam was coming off the radiator. Good thing he was already at work. He could just get a tow truck…for the second time this week. The last time, the back wheel had come off in the middle of the street. Of course his friends were right behind him when it happened. They laughed. Hard.
As he leaned in to inspect the problem, a water-hose sized hole opened in the side of the radiator. A stream of hulk colored fluid shot onto the hot engine block, sending a mountain of steam billowing upward. So much for sneaking off to call a tow truck. Now his co-workers, spilling out of their cars on their way into work, bore full witness to his pain. Most were already aware of the legendary-lemon-status of this car. They laughed too.
The car looked cool when he bought it, but as the saying goes, looks can be deceiving. Anyone can make an honest mistake buying a car, but that wasn’t his problem. Isaiah 30:18 says, “Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.” When he bought this car, he was in a season where he was distant from God, not really listening for or wanting God’s direction in his life. He still believed in God, but he had just gone about his life with little daily consideration for God’s wisdom. He bought this car in a hurry, without seeking God’s direction, without prayer. God was waiting to be gracious to him, yet he was not waiting to hear from God.
The tow truck arrived. The driver gave him a nod of recognition “You again? Here’s my number. Put it on speed dial.” His dad picked him up after work and took him home. It would take a few more tow trucks before he was done with this car, but the pain of dealing with it was starting to soften his heart and open his ears just a little.
Is there a time you plowed ahead on a decision without waiting on God and it didn’t go well? What do you wish you would have done differently?
God, we are all tempted to live life apart from you, doing our own thing, leaving you out of the equation. Help us listen to you speaking to us—and to wait for you. We want to experience your mercy and grace in our lives today.