It was a Thursday morning. I called him at our usual early morning hour—6:30am. Bright and early.
I said, “Good morning,” and was surprised to hear a voice on the other line that already seemed awake. Distress came through in his voice as he said, “I knew it. I knew it.” Confused, and a little bit frightened, I asked what he was talking about, and why he was already up.
“It’s gone,” he said. His voice was frantic, and shallow.
“The car—it’s gone! It’s not here.”
“What do you mean it’s not there!? Your car was stolen?”
“I don’t know… it’s just not here. I knew things had to be going too well! I just knew it!”
I didn’t know what to say first. Didn’t know if “I’m sorry” or “calm down” would be the most appropriate; so I sat on my bed, ear to the phone, and prayed with him. When the prayer was over, I told him to call the police and make a report. I hung up the phone, got dressed quickly, and headed over.
When I pulled up, I saw the evidence of a rocky morning. No car in the drive-way, skid marks on the pavement, and a look of disbelief across his face. I got off the car and hugged him. I didn’t know what to say, so I let my words be few. I stared at him, his face marked by worry and grief. He looked at the grass, eyes focused and tight. The first words out of his mouth were, “I don’t know what to do, but I know God will take care of me… He always does.” Despite the entire morning, confidence flooded his shattered speech.
That same day, he told me he prayed not to find his car, for fear of it being stripped and worthless; instead, he prayed God would bless him with a car. When he told me this, I gave him a look of undeniable skepticism; and admittedly, I laughed. How could he ask for a thing like that? How could he be so bold?
When he questioned my lack of faith, I didn’t really know what to say. So, I was honest and brutal. “Reality doesn’t work like that—at least not mine! How could you expect God to just give you a car? That’s not possible.”
I heard the disbelief mesh my words into fear and ridicule. I felt the bitterness of an inevitable let down, of too many experiences unmet and prayers unanswered. I was ashamed for not having more faith. Even with a belief in God, prayers, and miracles, I’m crippled by skepticism. Without realizing it, I mark clear lines around what God can and can’t do—frame the confines of a box I’ve placed Him in. I felt the trueness of my disbelief more than ever that Thursday.
The next few days were a stressful blur. We shared a car, and I tried to comfort him as the stress started to seep in and affect his mood. Even though it was hard, he continued to pray, knowing God would come through.
I wish I could say I believed him every time he said he was going to get blessed with a car—wish I could say I was laying on my face beside him, praying with the same boldness and confidence he had. But, I wasn’t. I struggled to believe in this assurance he had, and I didn’t know how to be a part of it when I still had so much doubt.
Instead, I chose to plan and figure out how we could make things work. I thought about numbers, and managing debt. I tried to figure out our schedules to share a car, or how he could buy one in a reasonable price range. He relied on faith, and I choice to rely on my own built-up assurance.
A few days after his car was stolen, he received a call from a man he does work with on the side—a good guy who cares enough to ask questions. He asked what the status of his situation was, and how he was getting around. Jaime explained the whole ordeal, ending the discussion with, “But, you know, God is good. He’s going to come through for me, bro.”
The man on the other line told him, “Well, I have a truck outside my house that’s just sitting there. It’s got a new engine with only 600 miles on it. I’ll talk to my wife about it tonight, and if she says it’s okay, it’s yours.” A few days passed, and the truck was his. Free and given with one simple statement, “God told me to give this to you.”
When he called me on the phone and told me what happened—of the miracle that played out amidst the craziness that claimed two weeks of our lives—I was still in disbelief. Shocked. I couldn’t help but laugh: at myself, at the situation, and at a God who works things together in a way that literally makes no sense sometimes.
I texted my friend and told her everything. About the car, the prayer, and the doubt that lingered in all of it. And all she replied was, “But, you see, that’s why you guys work. Sometimes Jaime needs a little logic, and sometimes you need a little faith. You balance each other out like that.” I chewed on that the rest of the day, as I thought about this disbelief I still carry in my heart.
I don’t know how to just “grow” some faith, and I don’t know how to pray for it either. But I do know there’s a God, and that He's definitely a God of miracles; but, more than all this, I know that He isn’t defined by miracles, just as He isn’t defined by my doubt. He doesn’t live in the box I try to place Him in—He shatters it, at every turn and in every circumstance.
Faith doesn’t just “grow,” it’s lived in and tried. It’s seeing confidence that comes through, even in scary uncertainty. It’s seeing blessings and favor, even when we don’t deserve or believe it. It contradicts everything the world says is true, because the truth rests in the Lord alone. It doesn’t need to be clean or understandable, or even expected. It’s beyond us because it’s not about us. It’s about Him. It’s about trusting something that’s unseen, even when it’s hard. It’s about letting God reside in His rightful place, outside the box of our conditions and expectations.
It’s radical and senseless. It’s simple, loving provision.
-Delyla Mayers / justwritelove.com