Thanksgiving

The Lord is good. He has blessed me with a loving wife, a comfortable home, health, precious time with my elderly father, the opportunity to give and receive heartfelt love with my mother before taking her home. For a lifetime, God has listened to my concerns and continues to demonstrate His loving kindness toward me and all of those I have lifted in heartfelt prayer. And where I thought He wasn’t acting fast enough, He has been patient with my impatience.

thanksgivingThough I am cognizant of all these things, the continual goodness of God, sometimes it’s the little things that remind me of just how wonderful God is; how closely He watches over and protects me.

Last week, Karen and I went shopping about an hour from where we live. We visited several home goods stores to find accessories to decorate our new home. A few days before, we jumped in the truck to go grocery shopping and found the battery was dead, so we took the car. As soon as we got home with the groceries, I put the battery charger on the truck and gave it a full charge. “Must’ve left the lights on” I reasoned and assumed everything would be OK.

Parked in front of Michael’s where Karen was shopping for some kind of ribbon I’d never heard of, “grow grain” I think she called it, I sat in the truck to read and played solitaire games on my phone. I let the engine idle while running the heater and turned it off when it began to get too warm.

Moments later when I tried to re-start the truck, the battery was completely dead again.

While Karen shopped, I used the phone to find the closest auto parts store and called them to inquire about batteries. Sadly, the manager said they could neither bring me one, nor would they drive me back to the truck if I were to walk to the store and buy one. The next closest auto parts store was 6 miles away, farther than I cared to walk in cold weather.

So I called AAA. We’ve been members for years, but have never used them. The AAA operator said the wait time on a tow truck for “jumper service” was minimally 2 hours. Reluctantly I arranged the appointment and started scanning the parking lot and strip mall for a restaurant where we could hang out while we waited. There was no restaurant in the area and without heat, it was too cold to wait in the truck.

About the time I began to grumble, I spotted a “Car Toys” in the same strip mall as Michael’s, about 150 feet from where the truck was parked. By that time, Karen was done shopping and we hoofed it down to Car Toys to see whether they sold batteries. Not only did they sell them, they were the same brand as was in the truck and had seen us through 8 frigid Illinois winters before finally failing. There was also a mechanic on duty who was only too glad to walk me back to the truck to test the battery and install the new one.

In less than 30 minutes, we were on the road again and I called off AAA.

Michael’s was the 3rd stop we made that day. Had the truck battery failed when we were en-route to the shopping center, or at any of the previous stops, we’d have had no choice but to wait the 2+ hours for AAA to show up. But God’s grace in delaying the battery failure, until we were within 50 yards of someone who could repair it for us, filled us with appreciation for the many many ways God watches out over us and provides for our welfare before we even know that we need His help.

And so today, I am particularly thankful for our God, who watches over us, always.

Psalm 121:8 Common English Bible (CEB)

The Lord will protect you on your journeys—
    whether going or coming—
    from now until forever from now.