The Wrong Part

Your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him. — Matthew 6:8 NIV 

My husband came home one Friday evening with a disgusted look on his face. 

“My truck is not to be moved,” he announced.

I looked out the door and noted the hood of his green pickup ajar. I was almost afraid to ask why. 

A section of the fuel line was leaking, and until he replaced it, the truck couldn’t be used. So he went to the auto parts store in town. Just as our luck would have it, the part had to be ordered from the manufacturer, and we’d have to contact a local dealer in another town forty-five minutes away to order it for us.

“The part will be in on Wednesday,” he announced Saturday morning after a couple of phone calls. “Can you pick it up for me?”

Wednesday I called to make sure the part was in. It wasn’t. Neither was it in on Thursday. Or Friday. Monday I called the dealer for the fourth time. 

“We ordered it, Ma’am,” he said. “We just didn’t get it yet. We don’t know where it is. The manufacturer said they shipped it. I’m going to put in another order and have them ship it so I have it tomorrow.”

“Why don’t we just forget it?” I said when I called the next day and it still wasn’t in. “I could have been to Detroit and back and gotten it myself.” 

“Would you wait one more day?” he asked. He sounded as frustrated as I felt. “I’m going to call the manufacturer and find out where it is.” 

“Okay,” I agreed, but not without a sigh.

The next day, even though the part we needed was put on the delivery truck at four o’clock that morning, it still wasn’t in. So what do we do now? It had been ten days since we ordered the part, and it was lost somewhere between Detroit and western Pennsylvania. If we ordered it from another dealer, we’d probably have to wait another week before it came in there. And what if the part came in the first place the day after we ordered it from someone else? 

Finally, on Thursday, seven days after it was to be in, the elusive order arrived. One look at my husband’s face when he saw it, though, and I knew: After all that, it was the wrong part.

I got to thinking, though: We’re such an “instant-minded” society. Aren’t we like that with God, too? 

We put in our orders with our heavenly Father, thinking that prayer is like putting our money in a vending machine, pushing a button, and having our answer drop down out of heaven like a candy bar. But more often than not, we have to wait, and waiting is the hardest part. Sometimes we wait so long, we think God is ignoring us or punishing us. 

But when the answer does come, it’s always exactly what we need and right on time. And what’s even better—He never sends the wrong part.

Father, I am so impatient. Help me to be persistent and patient in prayer. Amen. 

Read and meditate on Matthew 7:7–11

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God © 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

When God Says “No”

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. ­–Proverbs 3:5–6 NLT

When we lived in town and our oldest was still a baby, we rented a second-floor apartment but yearned for a house of our own. When the house across the street – one I’d admired since we’d moved in two years earlier – came up for sale, we applied for a mortgage. And were turned down.

No surprise. We didn’t have the finances and weren’t in any position to buy a house.

But I was angry. Angry at God. I wanted that house in the worst way. So what if it was practically on the street and had a postage-stamp backyard?

I threw a royal hissy fit.

In time, God worked with me, softening my spirit so I could hear His voice. Psalm 37 spoke to me, especially verses 3 and 4: “Trust in the Lord, and do good; so you will dwell in the land, and enjoy security. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (RSV)

I took this as God’s promise to me that Dean and I would someday have a house of our own, with plenty of land around it. In times of doubt I’d read the psalm over again, clinging to verses 9, 11, and 34, believing against circumstances that we would one day “possess the land.”

I’d always dreamed of a house in the country, but I’d wanted that house in town so badly, I was willing to forego my dream home.

As I look back – that was over 40 years ago – I see how events played out, orchestrated by Almighty God, who had something better in mind when He said “no” to the house in town. We have our dream home in the country, with 13 acres surrounding it.

When King David planned to build a temple for God in Jerusalem, God said “no”: “You shall not build a house for My name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in My sight” (1 Chronicles 22:8 NKJV).

Talk about a slap in the face! The wars David fought were so Israel, God’s people, would have peace. The blood he shed was Israel’s enemies’ blood. And this was the thanks he got? David wouldn’t get to build the Temple, but his son Solomon would.

If that were me, I’d have a hissy fit, whining and complaining and reminding God of all the good things I’d done for Him, and why I deserved a “yes.”

But David accepted God’s “no” and got everything ready for Solomon. He drew up the building plans, gathered materials, developed a schedule for the priests and singers once the temple was completed. No wonder God called David a “man after My own heart.”

Then there was the Apostle Paul, the great force behind the explosion of the first century church. He was whipped, beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, and jailed, all for Christ. Three times he asked God to remove his “thorn in the flesh,” which added suffered on to suffering. Three times God said “no.”

Like David, Paul accepted God’s answer, realizing that God’s “no” meant something better: His grace.

Prayer is not a vending machine. You don’t plunk in your request and wait for your selection to drop down from heaven.

But rest assured: God hears and He will answer: yes, not now, or “I have something better in mind.”

When God says “no,” how do you react? Do you pout, get angry, doubt God, lose your faith? Go after what you want anyway, and make yourself miserable?

Or accept God’s answer and find peace, knowing that His answer will always be the best one for you.

Thank You, all-knowing and all-wise God, for always working in ways that are best for me. Amen.

Read and meditate on 2 Samuel 7:1–14 and 2 Corinthians 12:1–10

© 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.