Tomorrow marks six months that I have been without full-time employment. A lot can happen in six months. I have been extremely blessed to have few financial worries during this past half year. I received money from the buyout and from my 401k rollover and am eligible for unemployment benefits, which will soon be extended because Kentucky is one of several states with an unemployment rate of more than 8 percent. In addition, I am still serving my church in Smithfield, which is in Henry County, just the other side of Shelbyville, and I have received several freelance writing assignments. It’s been good.
But I am a bit of a worrywart, and I confess I did wonder when or if everything would blow over, leaving me destitute and desperate. I thought that was going to happen this past Sunday when, as I was driving home from Smithfield, my “check engine” light went on. That’s rarely a good sign. Sometimes you luck out and all you have to do is tighten your gas cap, but I had a feeling this was not going to be that kind of deal. Also, some belt or other kept tweeting like a bird whenever I started my car, making me fear that it would fly off its cylinder and leave me stranded on I-64 or somewhere worse.
Of course all this happened when I had some unexpected expenses and my checking account was depleted. I was waiting for a sizeable freelance check to arrive, but every day I came back from the mailbox frustrated, and I had to watch my at-hand funds dwindle. On Monday, I took my car into my usual repair shop and got the word that two sensors were gone and a belt was frayed and needed replacing. I was tempted to put the repairs off, but I really need my car and can’t afford to have a major breakdown. The repairs would cost $700. Although I knew it would put me in a precarious financial position, I told my mechanic to go ahead and do the work.
Now I am about to do some testifying to God’s providence and the greatness of God’s timing. That check I was waiting for was for $600. It was due in August and here it was almost October. When did it come? That very same day I was having my car repaired. Right after my mechanic called and said my car was ready to be picked up, the mailman came with the check. With that money and my check from my church, the repairs were covered – with some to spare. Now ain’t that provision?
Of course I would have loved to use that check to splurge on myself for my birthday, but it was a greater gift to realize once again that God comes through just when you most need it and God watches out for us in every and all things. You may or not believe that. You may or may not agree with me and you may just chalk it all up to coincidence, but as one of my pastoral colleagues once said, “There are no coincidences, only God’s surprises.” And God’s provision.