Yesterday I dropped my car off at the shop to have a really, really loud grinding noise, from under the hood, checked out. As a matter of fact, someone told me they heard me drive up because the noise was so loud from across the parking lot. Have you ever noticed little noises coming from your car? I don't know if it's just me, but if the noise is not too loud I don't seem to take it too seriously. What began several months ago as a little squeak coming from under the hood of my car ended up as a loud grinding roar yesterday as I pulled up to work. This fully mature squeak cost me over $700! You see, my air conditioner compressor died several months back but I didn't realize it until yesterday. It's kind of like the opossum that dies under your house but you don't know it until you smell the stench a few days later. I knew my car needed some attention because the cooling ability left the building at the beginning of the Fall. But, since winter was coming and of course, the squeak was barely audible...I put it off until the heat of Summer arrives again.
What I didn't know was that one fan belt drives not only my a/c compressor, but the fan, alternator and other things. The grinding noise was a signal from my car to me that it was about to break down. The a/c compressor was about to lock up which would cause the belt to pop and disable the entire vehicle! The place where I work also has an auto center on the premises. When I arrived at work yesterday, it was quite evident that I would not make the 55 mile trip back home without surrendering my car to the auto mechanics. I was thinking, "Surely it won't be too serious. Right?" Not so right. It cost me over $700 to get back home. Add to that a four hour wait...past the time they said I could pick it up!
A particular scripture began to call my name after I got back home last night. That Scripture is Proverbs 16: 9, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." I was actually scheduled to be off at 3:00 pm. The mechanics said they would have the car repaired by then. I drove off the premises just before 7:00 pm! My day was ruined! I hadn't planned on a 4 hour delay to ruin my plans! When I arrived home Connie had a "word" for me. She said, "Isn't God good to have let you make it all the way to work (55 miles) and to the shop without breaking down on the road somewhere?" I knew she was right! I knew that even though my plans were ruined, God's plans for me superceded mine. I got a clue that God's plans for me included my complete safety, the repair of my car, and a safe trip home...even if it was four hours later than planned!
There are so many times when we make our plans. Sometimes those plans are in accordance with God's, meaning that He directs our steps according to those plans. But there are other times (like yesterday for me) when my plans are not according to God's plans. We may make our plans, but God determines our steps. These times are the hardest for me...at least at first. But our incredible God has an uncanny way of showing us through circumstances, that even though it's not our plan, He still determines our steps! I find so much peace in knowing that when things get shaky...He is still in control. Is He good or what?