Parable of the Green Lighter

The picture that you are looking at is one of the epic adventures that has happened in my life. I really think this is why Amy married me. She always had a front row seat to something exciting, adventurous, and interesting. Back in February or March, we decided to remove the larger part of the lilac bushes on our east property line. Amy wanted a garden. Being the good husband that I am, I obliged. The picture depicts the last of three loads of root wads, branches, and brush that came from that dirt spot. But how did we get the bushes out of the ground, you might ask? Good question! You can see the very edge of my truck in the picture. We tied a log chain around the base of the bush and I would yank on it with my pickup. It was so fun. It was so ingenious…. It was so redneck. Our neighbors would casually sit in their house and watch the village idiot drag these bushes out of the ground. See it was fun for everyone.

On one particular day, I was torqueing on these pesky bushes. I had overestimated what I could pull when I chained 3 bushes together. My truck couldn’t budge it. So I quickly dropped her into 4 low and let the coal roll (redneck term, it’s ok if you don’t understand). When I did that, I noticed something peculiar happen to my truck. It didn’t want to come out of 4 low. My truck is older and has a lot of miles on it. Anything could break at any time. I was afraid that this random activity might be about to cost me a pile of money. I got it out of 4 low into two-wheel drive, but it would no longer go into 4 high. Maybe where you live, you never use it. But here in good old Nebraska, we get this thing every year called snow. Piles of snow, weeks of snow, feet of snow. If you don’t have four-wheel drive, you will struggle to get around.

I talked to a friend and they thought I would have to take the transfer case out of my truck to make the repair. The cost wouldn’t be great, but the work would be. So I did what any busy person would do in my shoes, I waited. I waited through spring. I waited through summer. I waited through fall. I waited ’til it snowed again. Last week, I determined that I had to get busy working on this or else I may have get stuck or stuck at home. I was ready to tackle it…finally. As I was leaving work, I tried the four-wheel drive and it didn’t work. I remembered praying about it. “God, I know you are more powerful than this trucks problems. I know you can fix this without me taking it apart. I believe.” Then I forgot about it.

2 days ago, I went to go order parts for my truck. They couldn’t order it. I left thinking I could get them online. As I headed to work, I remembered that we had a pretty good mechanic here in town. I thought I could get a better deal if I took the transfer case to him, and he make the repair as needed. As I talked to him, he was really adamant about me not taking it apart if it wasn’t necessary. I was about to leave and he told me would look at it real quick. He hopped up in my truck and got out one minute later. He said, “It works.” He was smiling, trying to hold back laughter, which I’m grateful for. He said that a green lighter had fallen down into the shifting compartment and it blocked it from going into 4 high. You could imagine the dumbfounded look on my face can’t you? I laughed at myself and praised the Lord for the cheap fix all the way to work.

A few weeks ago, our men’s group memorized the verse John 16:24, “Until now, you have not asked for anything in my name; ask and you will receive, and the your joy will be complete.” (I type it from memory, LOL!) What a great promise. I had asked for my truck to be fixed without it costing me the time to take it apart and put it back together. He answered. Why was I surprised? Was it because it wasn’t that big of a deal? Was it a lack of faith? Was it because I had asked before and the answer was no? I think the answer is a little yes to all. God delights in the prayers of his children. The prayer doesn’t have to be huge or life altering. He cares for you and wants to hear it all, because He is a good father. I love to hear all the wild and crazy things my kids have to say because I love them. Prayer is more about the relationship than the answer. So ask or just talk. Vent! Stew! Dream! Ask Him what His dream for you is. Praise! He is close like a dear friend, treat him as such. It will do so much for your prayer life, when you know He is listening and wants to talk. You never know when He will answer your request and you have a green lighter stuck in your shift compartment. Ask in His name! You will draw near just because of the talk.

Grace and peace to you as you talk to Jesus like a friend and you get humbled by a green lighter!

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