“Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands …” Isaiah 49:16
I was backing out of the parking spot when I saw another car doing the same. They didn’t see me. I stopped and breathed a sigh of relief that I saw and caught myself in time to avoid an accident. I was driving a rental car and worried that I would leave a scratch on a car that did not belong to me. But then, my fears were alleviated when I realized that I paid extra for the insurance. It was supposed to protect me against just this sort of calamity. I knew that if it had resulted in damage to the rental car, I would not be held responsible. More relief. Just then, I thought of the commercial for insurance where the little girl says that life insurance gives her daddy, “a peace of his mind.” So cute, in her case. But so true, in mine.
I’ve been having car issues of a magnitude that I cannot even begin to enumerate in detail. I will gloss them over and give the basics. I had a car accident on a Sunday morning while driving to church, through no fault of my own. The driver completely blew through a red light, rendering my Kia Optima aka the baby Jag (named thusly because of her really cool headlights, reminiscent of the classic Jaguar) totally inoperable. I was shook up, injured (whiplash) and devastated – mentally and physically. It took an immediate toll on my blood pressure, causing it to sky rocket. Therapy was needed, doctors visits, tests and the whole nine yards. All because of someone else’s error. I was thankful I was able to walk away. And that was just the beginning of my trials.
I decided to buy a used car to replace mine, while wrestling with the insurance company of the party at fault. Besides the stress they put me through, I was also overwhelmed at the thought of purchasing a used car. What did I know of that? I felt sure someone would take advantage of me. Not to mention, my personal life went on as usual, piling more problems on top of the car issues. I was on medication for the blood pressure which provided some temporary relief but still saw elevation when things got especially rocky. I finally looked at my blood pressure and said, “Loria, you’ve got to get a hold of yourself or the stress is going to get you!”
The next day, I went to purchase a truck that I finally settled on. I felt like I could trust the dealer, as much as you could trust any used car salesman. On the way there, another fear popped up and I could feel the worry start up. I’ve been a chronic worrier for so long, it’s been hard to give up the habit. But this time, before it could truly sink its hooks into me, I said to my son “I’m not gonna worry about that.” And it freed me. I felt it. Deep in my soul and the marrow of my bones. No more worry. Simple words that changed my life and my outlook. I’ve said to myself in the days since, “What has worry ever done for me except make me sick? Where has it gotten me?” Nowhere. I’ve not been able to change anything by worrying.
Today, after my near miss, I had the revelation that my worries have left because I am now insured, too. I know what it is to leave that worry behind and trust that God will meet whatever need arises. And I am assured that whatever happens, he has promised to work it out for my good. Meanwhile, my car issues continued. The truck had to go back because the engine was failing. The dealer was kind enough to replace it with a car, even though I was told by a lawyer that the Lemon Law didn’t apply to me. Said car then popped a belt, just as I was beginning to love the car. The tow truck driver said to me, “You must be ticked!” But I wasn’t anymore. Strangely enough, I was at peace. It made no sense. I just saw God’s hand, working in my favor, in all of this.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
Not a Pollyanna type of peace, mind you, where I walk around and pretend these things aren’t happening, but a true peace which transcends my problems. A peace that only God can give. A friend commended me on my great faith when I attempted to explain what I was going through. Not faith, I said, not wanting to take the credit for something so lofty. Trust. See, at some point, I had to give God his due and trust him with my future, based on what he’s already done in my life. I trust him with my problems because he hasn’t failed me. Time and again, he has come through for me. GIVE HIM A BREAK, my heart cried. I reasoned to myself, “What more can He do to earn your trust?” Nothing. Not one more thing. He’s earned my trust and my devotion, unequivocally. I’m safe in His hands.