Categories
Reflections

This Is Why I Made SEO ‘Someone Else’s Obsession’

The crescendo had been building and the clash was deafening. It reverberated through my mind and deep into my soul. I’d been dancing with opposing ideas which could no longer coexist. I needed to choose. Was I going to submit to man’s wisdom or God’s? It could not be both.

Excuse the dramatic introduction, but this is what it had come to. From the beginning I knew God wanted me to put people first in my blogging. And yet I was strangely romanced by the idea of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and increased visibility on Google. A collision was inevitable.

This is why I made SEO ‘Someone Else’s Obsession’

I could do both, right? I mean, what would be the harm of optimizing my people-first blogs so they could be discovered and read by more people? If this is your approach, I am certainly not saying there is anything wrong with it. But it isn’t for me.

I wrote the title for this blog 9 months ago. That is how long it’s taken me to surrender to it. Since then, I’ve been trying to write the encouragement God has given me to share, while at the same time making little optimizing and self-serving tweaks to the messages.

There is a lot of advice on SEO. I’ve read it, I’ve saved it, I’ve experimented with it. I’ve intended to put it all together “one day”. And it has become a gate, of sorts, through which my writing passes as it leaves my head on its way to my fingers.

A brainstorm bubble about SEO
Photo by Tobias Dziuba on Pexels.com
SEO vigilance is literally a full-time job for some people!

Posting schedule, number of words, trending keywords, proper format, headline length… all this effort offered on the altar of the almighty search engine. And for what? For popularity, to be noticed, and yes – to get my message to the masses.

Human wisdom says SEO. You know what God says? 3 things come to mind.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Matthew 6:33

Ok, this scripture isn’t talking about optimal google rankings, but it is saying that God knows what I need. And if I seek Him first, He will make sure I have it.

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”

Matthew 6:24

I can’t be completely devoted to both God and any temporal offering of this world. Not money, not fame, not glory, not success.

I like a definition I recently read for the word “despise”. It means “to have it in for”. Yes, when two things battle for supremacy in my heart, one will get the top spot and the other is going down.

Well, SEO, I have it in for you. As far as I’m concerned, from now on you will be Someone Else’s Obsession. I will write what God puts on my heart to say. I will write it when it needs to be written in the way it should be said. I will not abide by your rules or give you any power over my blog anymore. I do not write for you.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.”

Colossians 3:23, 24

Writing for Google or any other search engine is no longer an enticing idea for me. I’ve laid it down, put my priorities in order and solidified my resolve to blog for the Lord with all my heart. The rewards He offers will be my fixation instead.

My dear reader, I’m not telling you how to manage your blog. But some of you may need to hear this. You may need someone to tell you what you already know. If God is nudging you the way He has been me, it’s okay – it’s wise – it’s imperative and necessary to make SEO Someone Else’s Obsession!

Categories
Emotions

5 Reliable Reasons to Rejoice Through Unexpected Tears

My dog died this morning. We were in the kitchen. When I bent to brush something off his face, he lay his head heavily in my hand and his legs gave way. I caught him and lowered him gently to the floor.

I got down on my belly, forehead to forehead with him. I petted him and spoke softly to him, reassuring him and telling him how much he was loved. I texted my son and husband to come quick, but I felt his last breath on my cheek before they got downstairs.

I am surprised how hard this hit me. Makali’i, aka “Maka”, just turned 12. Because of his breed, pug mixed with Japanese Chin, he’d already exceeded lifespan expectations. He was slowing down. I knew this was coming, yet is anyone ever really prepared?

As sad as today has been, I have found 5 reliable reasons to rejoice through the many – oh so many – unexpected tears.

1. God’s Timing

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die…”

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a

God’s timing is a reason for me to rejoice through tears today. I am so thankful we were home when the end came for our pup. If it had happened yesterday, we would not have been. I was even in the same room when his strength gave out.

I am appreciative that it didn’t happen on Easter Sunday, when assistance resources may have been closed and when our family might have carried a twinge of our sorrow into future Resurrection celebrations. There is no time I would want my pet to die, but the inevitable was timely in God’s plan and is giving me joy through my tears.

Are you sad about anything today? The circumstances which cause your tears are likely different than mine. Still, God’s timing is perfect for you too. Have you noticed it?

2. God’s Provision

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:19

If you read Part 2 of the Amazing News series, you know that the thing I disliked most about my new house was the back door. It is not compatible with a doggie door, so I had to walk Maka several times a day. Oh, what a fool I was!

That door was a precious provision from God! You know why? Because taking my dog out 4 times a day, meant over 100 walks together just since we moved here 26 (ish) days ago! I cherish the memories, the photos, and the quality time I got to spend with him while we got accustomed to this new habit.

Pug on a sunny sidewalk
Makali’i (means “Little Chief” in Hawaiian)
March 2010 – April 2022


This photo was taken on a walk yesterday. He always loved the sun and he appeared to be smiling as it shone down on him.

The first thing I did when I woke up this morning was take Maka outside. It was apparent that he was unwell, so my husband booked the first vet appointment he could find. It was for 10:30am, which was miraculous because most offices were booking weeks out.

Maka didn’t live long enough to keep his appointment, but when we called to cancel it, the receptionist had answers to all of our questions. She was God’s provision for us. She had the right words, she knew the next steps, and she gave us direction when we were lost in loss.

We rejoice through our tears because God provides what we need. He knows what is ahead and lays all the proper groundwork. This has been a recurring theme. If you need proof and encouragement regarding God’s provision, please read this true story and this one.

3. God’s Grace

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Hebrews 4:16

I asked earlier if we’re ever really prepared for tragedy. I can say with certainty I wasn’t. I’ll bet you’d answer in kind. This verse in Hebrews tells us why. God gives us grace in our time of need. He doesn’t promise to make it available in advance. He comes through with what we need when we need it.

This is an unexpectedly tearful day. And yet I’ve been able to rejoice because of God’s grace. He has taken the load and directed my thoughts. This doesn’t bring my sweet puppy back, but it does soothe my heart. It gives me strength to focus on the gift I had instead of what I’ve lost.

‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’

~God

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

2 Corinthians 12:8, 9

If you are in need, God’s grace is sufficient. Open your hurting heart to Him. He makes it possible to rejoice through our tears.

4. God’s Comfort

“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Psalm 34:18

I would love to say that I crawled near to God in my grief today. I don’t think I’ve had the wherewithal. But He has pulled me close. I feel His comforting presence.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

Matthew 5:4

All day, through reassuring my dying dog, reminiscing with my husband, and helping break the news to our kids one by one, I am being comforted by God. And as news spreads, friends who have been in these shoes are reaching out with knowing words of empathy.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

2 Corinthians 1:3, 4

The amazing thing about comfort is that we get to pay it forward. Our grief gives us first-hand understanding and enables us to encourage others through theirs. If you’re not ready to help someone else, that means you’re still in need of comfort yourself. Accept it from God and others. One day you’ll be able to give it back out.

5. God’s Understanding

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16

I am relying heavily on God’s understanding. I lost a pet, but God the Father watched His Son die. And God the Son was described by the prophet Isaiah as a “Man of sorrows, acquainted with grief”.

My heart is not held by One who does not understand. My God created me, knows me, and understands me like no other. I’m so grateful to lean on Him today.

Do you feel like no one understands you? God does. My friend, I pray you allow yourself to be known by Him, especially when you’re sad.

A pug photo with text that reads "I'm grateful, blessed, and kind of a mess..."
I saw this phrase somewhere today and adopted it wholeheartedly!

No question about it, today is tough. I now expect my tears. But I have 5 reliable reasons to rejoice my way through them as I grieve.

If you are unsettled today, I hope you find encouragement in the goodness of God. He is ready to meet you where you are. Cry out to Him and He will answer!

To everyone who’s lost someone they love
Long before it was their time
You feel like the days you had were not enough
When you said goodbye
And to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there’s nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right
There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
And love for the broken heart
And there is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He’ll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus

Cry Out to Jesus (<– Click to listen)
Song by Third Day
Categories
Reflections

4 Practical Ways God Positions His Devoted People

Have you ever felt betrayed because someone moved away from you emotionally, physically, spiritually, or mentally? I have. It’s hard not to take something like that personally. We can avoid a good amount of heartache if we understand the practical ways God positions His devoted people.

This is a follow-up post to Introducing the God Who Positions His Devoted People – Part 1. If you would like to start there, please do! Otherwise, let’s examine GPS – God’s Positioning System – and use it to stay the course He has laid out for us.

4 Practical Ways God Positions His Devoted People

1. God positions His devoted people emotionally.

I refer to this phenomenon as “the tying and untying of heartstrings”. Sometimes we’re drawn to, or away from, things with an unexplainable urgency. God positions us, emotionally, to do what He asks us to do.

A map, a guidebook, and a compass
Photo by Abdessalem BENYAHIA on Pexels.com
God gives thorough, well prepared instruction.

On the surface, this is easily misunderstood. Separation can be a difficult process all around, and it can feel like a punishment. But it is actually an amazing blessing. Let me tell you a true story.

When my children were little, we were deeply rooted in Southern California. We felt we would never leave our church, the school the kids attended, or the halau (Polynesian dance studio) where our family performed. Yet one after the other, we were forced out of each of those institutions as tuitions, situations, and locations changed.

It was a painful and confusing time. But when God moved us to Hawaii soon after, we understood. Our heartstrings were already untied from what might have held us back. God had prepared us, in advance, to joyfully go where He wanted to position us next. And that is the perfect segue into the second way God positions people.

2. God positions His devoted people physically.

God puts us in the physical locations where He needs us to be. Whenever my husband and I change our home address, we try to remember it isn’t just about a new house. God positions us near specific neighbors, teachers, bank tellers, etc. He has plans to use our interactions with our new community to bless and teach us all.

“But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3:14b, 15

And as I’ve seen Him do it with us, I need to allow Him to do the same with others. I cannot hold too tightly, or be resentful, when He moves people, and positions them physically for His purpose – even if the process separates them from me. They were created for His glory, not mine.

“Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them.”

1 Corinthians 7:17a

It might not be as big as a household move. Just today, my husband, son, and I went to a local business at 10am, their opening time listed on-line. They were closed, and the sign on the door said they’d open at 11.

With an hour to wait, we ended up at a nearby restaurant. Was God physically positioning us there to bless someone? Possibly! He doesn’t always create an unexpected turn of events, but when those occur, it is a good idea to be extra vigilant for divine appointments.

3. God positions His devoted people spiritually.

What do you think about this one? I am going to tell you another true story to illustrate why I include this as a way God positions His people.

My family had found a wonderful church. We were heavily involved, serving, and being served. In God’s timing, He moved us on.

We switched to a church where things were done differently. They focused on distinct attributes of God and worshipped Him in unique ways. We gained a fresh perspective from experiencing Him with that congregation.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”

Psalm 32:8

When circumstances changed again, and we landed at the next church, it all came together. We could clearly see how God had positioned us spiritually, teaching us over the previous several years. He had given us a foundation for real spiritual growth and ministry. God is consistently contributing to our understanding of who He is, what His plans are for us, and how He positions His people.

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”

2 Corinthians 4:6

4. God positions His devoted people mentally.

This is one that I’ve come to notice recently. I have encountered brilliant people who will not embrace God because they cannot fully comprehend Him. And I have met little children who love Him with all their hearts.

“And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven’.”

Matthew 18:3

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Romans 12:2

I’m not saying God positions us to be simple minded, but rather heavenly minded. He enables us to surrender our prideful desire to completely grasp Godly things with our human intellect. He positions us mentally to accept Him. When we open ourselves to His prompting, the Holy Spirit does His convincing work, and our faith grows.

“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”

2 Timothy 3:14, 15
Compass held over a ridge with a canopy of trees below
Photo by Supushpitha Atapattu on Pexels.com
We must align ourselves with God’s coordinates for us – body, mind, and soul – and encourage others to do the same.

Some say it’s wrong to move on from connections, situations, institutions, and such. They see it as a failure of loyalty. And I guess, at times, it can be that.

But when we realize God positions His devoted people emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally, we shouldn’t be surprised when shuffles happen. Instead of taking offense, hopefully we will encourage everyone to follow God, wherever He leads. Separation is painful, but it is temporary. We will have comradery for all eternity once our work on earth is done!

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,

    for I have put my trust in you.

Show me the way I should go,

    for to you I entrust my life.

Teach me to do your will,

    for you are my God;

may your good Spirit

    lead me on level ground.”

Psalm 14:8, 10
Categories
Reflections

Introducing The God Who Positions His Devoted People – Part 1

Imagine yourself downtown after sunset. You stayed longer than anticipated. You never meant to be there alone after dark. You wish you weren’t.

You turn down an alley through which you’d passed earlier. It sure looks and feels different at night! You quicken your pace.

Through the shadows comes a hooded figure clutching something long and thin. Is it a weapon? You notice your heart pounding.

You contemplate turning around but realize the quickest way to put distance between the two of you is to cross paths and continue in opposite directions. You set your shoulders and posture forward.

The approaching figure momentarily passes through hazy remnants of a distant light. You get a quick glimpse of the weapon… It’s a Bible. How do you feel?

Introducing ‘the God who positions’ His devoted people

When it happened to me, I felt relieved. But more than that. I regarded the once fearsome stranger as a comforting gift.

The alley actually felt safer than when I thought I was alone. I had an ally there. Another Christian in the shadows meant a multiplication of the presence of the Holy Spirit. Any other spirits lurking around were out of luck.

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

Matthew 18:20

Because of the Spirit of Jesus inside me, I can hold my God-given position.

If it had just been me and the Holy Spirit within me in that alley, would He have been any less able to hold back evil? Of course not. As the adage goes, you + Jesus = majority, every time.

Nobody overpowers Jesus without His permission. And He gave His Spirit to me. He dwells inside me.

Thank you, Jesus, that I’m sealed and protected in You.

I have a prayer that I say when I am in situations which feel threatening. I say “Thank you, Jesus, that I’m sealed and protected in you.” It reminds me that He decides my fate. Whatever does, or does not, happen to me is because He does, or does not, allow it.

Even if the worst happens, it results in glory. My eternal destination is decided – sealed and protected.

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

Philippians 1:21

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory.”

Ephesians 1:13, 14

God positions devoted people around me for my benefit, theirs, and His.

The Bible also says there is strength in numbers.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor… Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9, 12

I believe this is why God warns about being unequally yoked. Separate strands are fragile. United, they are greater than the sum of their parts. The same is true of God’s devoted people.

Who is God to you?

I read a terrific blog post by Lightbourne Creative, called “The Priviledged Life: Waiting for a Thaw”. I encourage you to read it. The author describes an experience she had by which she gained insight into an aspect of God which she found meaningful. She called Him “the God who thaws” and explained why.

It made me think about what God was doing in my life and what aspect of Himself He was revealing to me. I have seen Him physically locating and relocating many of His devoted people. My whole Amazing News series was about Him doing that very thing with me. I want to acknowledge Him as “the God who positions”.

What do I notice about “the God who positions”?

“The God who positions” brings like-minded people together. He multiplies the presence of His Holy Spirit in purposeful places. He strengthens His people with the support and encouragement of others.

Chess board mid-game
Photo by Monstera on Pexels.com
God’s devoted people occupy positions at His direction.

We are to the world what chess pieces are to a chess board. “The God who positions” sees everything and strategically places His devoted people in both offensive and defensive posts. He moves us around, as needed, to protect, defend, and advance His kingdom.

I hope to expand on that some in my next post. But for now, what has God been revealing about Himself to you? If you were to fill in the blank, what would you call Him? The God who ____________ . How come?

In fact, if the prompt starts your fingers typing, like it did mine, when I read Lightbourne Creative‘s post, write away! And then tag me so I can read all about it. I can’t wait to hear about who God has been to you lately!

Categories
Emotions

The Amazing News I’m Really Excited to Share – Part 10

Whoa! My friends, I had a close call! Have you heard the phrase “What you don’t know can’t hurt you”? How about “Ignorance is bliss”? Not true!

Let me tell you how grateful I am to walk with a God who knows and sees everything and is watching out for me. This story is going to go a little bit backwards because I have to start with this…

The amazing news I’m really excited to share is that we’re here! We have moved into our new home!

To all who have been reading, praying, supporting, and encouraging along the way, thank you! It is astounding that I posted Part 1 of this Amazing News series just 26 days ago. It has all taken place within 1 month!

So much has happened! My head is totally spinning. God was not kidding when He told us He would step in and work once we stepped out in faith. He made the impossible possible, thought of details we hadn’t considered, and even took care of the finances. And to top it off, He winked at me.

Well, not a literal wink, but this thing He did – this thing I’m fixin’ to tell you about – it was as if He tipped His hat and winked because He’d done something only He could do, and done it just because He could. Do you know what I mean? Have you seen Him do that before?

We took two days to drive from the house we left in California to our new home in Arizona. At about the half-way point, we stopped at a hotel to spend the night. Our minds were in a million places.

Notes and books and blank pages
Photo by Tara Winstead on Pexels.com
All the lists, so many notes, yet worried we’d draw a blank.

We were wondering if we’d done everything we were supposed to at the place we left. We were thinking about all there was to do in the place we were going. Mostly, we were acutely aware of our valuables, which we had with us for safekeeping.

I brought my computer bag into the hotel. In it, I had my personal laptop, my iPad, and my work computer, along with some important papers and such – things I wanted to keep in sight. I set it in a little closet-like nook. I also put my dog’s bed there, because it was out of the walkway in our small hotel room.

We didn’t sleep well. Truth be told, we hadn’t been sleeping well for a couple weeks. Overactive minds are hard to quiet, right?

Man in a room full of boxes, with a box on his head
Photo by SHVETS production on Pexels.com
Moving is tiring, but hinders rest.

We were sportin’ a fairly substantial sleep deficit as we went through the motions and checked out of our hotel room. As I was putting the dog in the car, something didn’t look right. His bed was missing – I’d left it in the room!

I went back to the front desk, got a new key, and returned to our room. When I got to the closet nook, sure enough, there was the doggie bed. And my computer bag!! I had no idea I’d left it! I sat down on the bed, clutching the bag for a second. My heart was pounding, my mind racing.

Thank you, Lord! He reminded me of the doggie bed and sent me back to the room. And there, He handed me something much more valuable, which I would have left behind.

He was a loving Father just doing something nice for His kid. He didn’t impress on me that He was teaching me a lesson or that He wanted exceeding praise, although He sure got that – and is still getting that from me! It was just a gesture – a wink and a smile. It left me feeling blessed, loved, and so relieved!

Happy woman with computer in one hand and other arm in the air
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com
Praise the Lord!

If I had gotten all the way to my new home before I realized my computers and important documents were missing, I would have had to go back immediately. That would have been an additional 12 hours of driving on top of the 12 we were already doing. And that is IF they would have still been there for me to go back and claim.

I’m not kidding – my fingers are shaking as I’m typing. That could have been disastrous! My work computer, especially, would have been very problematic to lose.

The rest of the trip was relatively uneventful. We did listen to a very good audio book, called Doing Life with Your Adult Children, by Jim Burns. I recommend it. I think it’s tagline, “Keep Your Mouth Shut and the Welcome Mat Out” is perfect.

I’m pinching myself – we’re here! New home, new town, new opportunities. And, praise God, old computers!

Walking with Him is an adventure! Sometimes He leads us through hard things. Other times He blesses our socks off.

He teaches us. He disciplines us. And occasionally, He winks. He does something that only He can, incites awe, and lets it be. Those moments prove how much He adores us.

What I didn’t know (that my computer bag was left in the room) could definitely have hurt me. My ignorance was far from bliss! But God!

He is omnipresent – He is everywhere.
He is omniscient – He knows everything.
He is El Roi – the God who sees me.

Tell me some amazing news you’re excited to share. Has God taken care of you recently? If nothing comes to mind, be on the lookout – sometimes I think we just miss it.

When we’re focused on things going wrong, we tend to skip over what is going right. Oh, my precious friends, there are things going wrong, but so much is going right! I can’t wait to hear what God is doing in your life!


Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart for sharing this month with me. Thank you for reading and participating in these Amazing News stories. It has been really exciting to share them with you.

I know writing them helped me gather and settle my thoughts. I hope God was glorified. I pray you were encouraged.

YOU have been prayer warriors, cheerleaders, and support persons of the most incredible kind. God bless you! You are precious and you are loved.

Categories
Emotions

The Amazing News I’m Really Excited to Share – Part 9

Oh, the freeway! How I love to hate it! I love the ease with which it allows travel between cities, but I hate the nervous knowledge of all that could go wrong at such high speeds.

The amazing news I’m really excited to share today started on the freeway.

We hauled our last pile to the dump and finished transporting our daughter’s belongings from her storage unit to her new apartment. Our van had made so many heavily loaded runs around town in the past few weeks, I’d lost count. It was a work horse for sure, and it was time to retire it.

We packed our airbed, duffel bags, and dog into our tiny little Prius. Our house was empty! We left a key in a lockbox for the housekeepers and drove away, my husband in the van and me following in the Prius. We went to meet a friend, who facilitated the donation of the van to a local church.

A few quick signatures and we were a one-vehicle family. I shifted into the Prius’ passenger seat so my husband could drive. A few minutes later, we had merged onto the freeway headed towards our kids and grandkids. It was time to say goodbye. I was lost in thought.

I don’t think the state of California realized there would be this many people here caught up in the freeway system.

Richard Grieco

Suddenly, the Prius dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree! The lights were intense and foreboding, silently hollering for attention. I fumbled with my phone as I googled what it could mean and what we should do. There were no easy answers, other than to get to a mechanic, and get there fast!

The warning lights on a Prius dashboard
The exclamation point in the triangle was uncannily boisterous and bright!

We immediately turned around and drove to our usual repair shop. Our guy was busy and wouldn’t be able to look at the car for several days. We couldn’t wait because we were headed out of state, for good, in less than 24 hours! We asked for a referral to another mechanic ours would trust. He suggested we go to the dealership.

To the dealership we went. Back on the freeway, the lights were still illuminated, and the car’s performance was declining. We were praying. I’d reached out to some other people who were praying too.

By the grace of God, we made it! We pulled up and the clerk met us at the car. He asked, “What time is your appointment?”

My husband explained that we didn’t have an appointment. We were moving out of town, but all these lights had come on. He gestured to the dashboard. The man glanced around with hesitation, during which time the words “Please Lord” catapulted from my heart to the Heavens.

Pug looking out the car window
Photo by Jordan N on Unsplash
Our broken little car contained everything the movers hadn’t taken.

The man said “Well, let’s get you checked in and see what we can do.” I breathed a “Thank You” to Jesus, as I took our pug and went to the grassy area in front of the building. My husband went inside to do the paperwork. It could be a few hours before we knew anything more.

It did not take long, however, for the mechanics to determine that all the hullabaloo had been over the water pump, which needed to be replaced. A short time (and a hefty price tag!) later, we were on our way again. The dashboard lights were at rest, and so were our nerves.

The amazing news I’m really excited to share is that God watches over us with incredible vigilance!

It may seem, at first, like this was a stroke of bad luck. The last thing we needed on our way out of town was car trouble, right? But if you have been reading this Amazing News series, you know that God has been incredibly intentional. This too, was a fantastic blessing.

What if the water pump had gone bad just 24 hours later? We would have been headed out of state. We could have been out of range for cell service. We would have been in unfamiliar territory, not knowing where to find a mechanic or dealership.

“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”

2 Chronicles 16:9a

As it played out, not only did we have a replacement for the broken part of our car, but we also had peace of mind. The Toyota mechanics had run their diagnostics and confirmed that the water pump was the only problem. Honestly, we should have had the car looked over before our trip, but we were buried under all the other tasks for our move, and we didn’t think of it. God did! He was watching over us with incredible vigilance.

Additionally, when we did make it to say goodbye to our precious family, we had the fresh reassurance that God was intimately involved. We experienced His provision, getting us to, and through, the repairs. And that superseded any worry we might have felt. He was with us, caring for us, and holding our whole family in His all-capable hands.

Mechanic with a tool in the engine of a car
Photo by Brigitte Miller on Pexels.com
God knows and cares about what is happening, unseen, under the hoods of our lives.

What seems to be going wrong in your day? Are there warnings signs on the dashboard of your life that demand attention? The amazing news I am really excited to share is that God is watching over you with incredible vigilance. He knows when you need to pull off the freeway of frenzy and get the care you need. His timing may not seem convenient, but it is perfect!

Precious friend, do you need to get back to church? Do you need to repair a broken relationship, with God or someone else? Is it time you took a break or relinquished control?

Please tend to that toward which God is drawing your attention. Do it today. Act now. You’ll be glad you did. You are worth it!