Romans 8:28

Disclaimer: I realize that this is rather lengthy, but trust me when I say that you will definitely be blessed if you read it in it’s entirety.

This is a testimony, and there are many lessons that you can pull from this:

Romans 8:28

I realized this week that I have been planning this trip for about nine months.  The last six weeks I have been actively investigating plane tickets, looking for the cheapest fare.  I have been waiting for the money to come in to purchase my ticket (money from my pay checks as well as from others who felt led to sow seed).  Finally, the window of opportunity for this trip was beginning to close I was told that the kids would be getting out of school at the end of July and my schedule would not allow me to take this trip after August.  The plan was to fly in and out of Atlanta because I had to be in Atlanta the last week of July for a conference.  This way, I could lengthen my trip and stay in Uganda a few days longer; returning to Atlanta just in time for my conference.  After months off considerations, I decided that I would drive my car to Atlanta the day before my flight and stay overnight at my brother’s house.  I was preparing to take my car to the mechanic for minor repairs and trip preparation check up.

I was at the mechanic shop early on Monday morning, June 25, to wait for work to be done on my car.  While waiting, I was purchasing my plane ticket to Uganda over the phone (the final amount needed for my plane ticket came in the night before and I purchased the ticket seven days prior to departure).  Before completing the transaction, the ticket agent needed more information from me which required that I return home to print, scan, and email a form.  I jumped in my car (the mechanic had not begun work on it yet) and made the 20 minute trip back home.  I retrieved and sent all information requested and completed the transaction for a flight to depart from Atlanta and eventually end up in Uganda.  I went back to my car to head back to the mechanic so he could do the necessary maintenance, but it wouldn’t start.  The ignition turned over and “coughed” repeatedly, but it wouldn’t start.  How ironic!  Just two hours earlier it was running fine, but now, nothing.  Just two hours earlier I was at the mechanic shop, but now, I was 20 minutes away and not a dime in my pocket because I had just spent everything on the plane ticket.  I called the shop to let them know that I was on my way back, but momentarily detained until I could figure out the problem.  I spoke to the mechanic to see what he could diagnose over the phone and the sum total of our conversation was that the fuel pump was malfunctioning and the solution was for me to get under the car and bang a rock against the fuel tank in an attempt to encourage the fuel pump to kick in.  After a few tries, it worked.  I was now on my way back to the mechanic and the vehicle was running fine.

In just a little while, the original work that I needed done on the vehicle was completed but the diagnosis concerning the fuel pump was kind of up for debate.  You see, the car worked without fail for the mechanic.  We brain stormed for a few minutes, but his conclusion was that I drove it in and it was running fine.  If there is a quirk with the fuel pump, we won’t have a definite diagnosis until it completely gives out.  Investigating my options, I had them give me a rough estimate on the part, and it was definitely more than I could put together on short notice.  Because I was able to tinker with it and get it running proves the possibility that there was still some life left in it.  The mechanic was aware of my impending trip but he could not give me a “yay” or “nay” concerning the cars performance during travel.  His advice was “pray and believe God”.  And that was really all the advice I needed.

Well, as the week progressed, I had no other issues with the car and I ran many errands in stop and go traffic.  Still feeding on the mechanic’s advice, I called a good friend of mine for his input, but I started the conversation by telling him that I still felt comfortable with driving my car to Atlanta.  My friend listened to the scenario and fairly agreed with the mechanic, especially the pray and believe part, but he also suggested a product I could add to my fuel to clean out any trash that may be accumulating and blocking proper flow.

So the week continued and the car was running fine – until Friday morning.  It was my last day to run errands and get ready for my trip.  After my first errand, it wouldn’t start.  I did the bang the fuel tank trick and it worked.  A few blocks later, it stalled.  But then it started fine and throughout the day, 8 hours of errands and traffic, there were no other problems.

That brings us to Saturday, June 30.  All ready to go, my flight leaves from Atlanta on July 2.  All I had left to do was drop my cat at the sitter and then head out.  I dropped my cat at the boarding shelter where the sitter would pick her up from on Monday.  I returned to my car and turned the key, guess what?  There was that “cough” again, but nothing catching.  No problem, I just grabbed to my trusty little rock from the backseat and crawled under and took a few swings at the fuel tank.  I got back into the driver’s seat, turned the key, and  . . . nothing catching.  I tried the sequence again, nothing; and again, nothing; and once more, nothing.  “Okay God, really?”  But I had to stay calm.  I knew it was just a test.  I called my friend back, told him that I followed through with his suggestion and brought him up to speed with what had just happened.  I asked if he had anymore suggestions.  He said “keep banging and try shaking the car, but you really do need to just stand in authority over it and command it in the name of Jesus to operate properly”.  To which I responded “Yeah, okay”.  He immediately called me to the mat concerning my half hearted agreement and reminded me to stand firm in faith.  That conversation ended and I gave myself a little talking to and corrected my disposition.  I immediately called another friend to tell her that I was standing on Romans 8:28 concerning this trip then I filled her in on what was happening.  I told her we were going to agree in faith that all hindrances be removed.  While we prayed, I laid hands on the car.  As we ended our conversation, a lady approached me offering to give my car a jump.  I told her that I didn’t think that the battery was the issue but since she was offering then we might as well try it.  Just as I was about to attempt to connect the cables, a guy came out of nowhere saying, “I’m already dirty, so let me do it.”  So I handed him the cables and stepped aside.  Once connected, I turned the key and still nothing catching.  So I proceeded to explain to the gentleman what was happening.  He told me to hang on while he ran across the street to get some tools then he would be able to help figure out the problem.  He worked across the street at a little used car lot where they fixed up auction cars to make ready for sale.  He returned quickly with a co-worker and the two of them walked around the car mumbling mechanic talk and every now and then would tell me to try to start it as they assessed various things.  They found nothing.  The co-worker walked away telling the first guy to “get the computer and see what it says”.  The guy ran back to the shop then returned with a handheld device that he connected under the stirring wheel.  The computer was supposed to communicate with the vehicle and display a message about what the potential problem was.  He ran the check twice and both times he got nothing.  The computer was saying that there was nothing wrong with the vehicle…but the car still wouldn’t start.  I thanked him for his effort and he returned back to his work.

Once again, frustration tried to creep in, but I regained my composure.  I retreated from the heat and unbearable humidity by standing inside the entry way of the animal hospital where I could look at my car and ponder what was wrong.  I began praying for God to reveal the answer to me.  Then I realized that I could see the gentleman that had helped me across the street working on the vehicles at his shop.  I decided to start praying for him.  My eyes wandered back and forth between his shop and my car.  Then I heard “Whatever your hands find to do”.  I asked God, what did my hands find to do?  Then I heard “assignment”, and I realized that I obviously couldn’t go anywhere at the moment so maybe there was a reason why I had to stay there.  While thinking this, my eyes once again wandered over to the gentleman who had helped me and I heard, “open your mouth and I will fill it”.  Then I knew my assignment.  I wandered if the guy knew Jesus Christ.  At that moment, it was my assignment to find out.  The conversation I had with God in my head was the same as usual, it went something like “I don’t know what to say, I’ll just stutter and sound like an idiot; at least tell me what my starting line is”.  And again I heard, “open your mouth and I will fill it”.  I hesitated a few more moments then I walked across the street and began the interaction.  It was nothing remarkable, just an act of obedience.  In our brief conversation, I learned that he was aware of Jesus Christ, he owned a bible, and even credited God will holding his family together, but there was something vacant about his response.   He told me that his wife worked at the boarding shelter where I had just taken my cat.  He let me pray for him and his family.  As I walked away from him, I became curious as to who his wife was.  I went back into the boarding shelter and asked one of the other Techs to locate her (I knew her name and a brief description).  When she came through the door, I laughed because she was the one who helped me when I brought my cat in.  I just quickly told her that I was very grateful to her husband for offering his help and I had prayed for their family and reminded her that Jesus Christ could help them with whatever they needed.  I didn’t know any specifics concerning their situation, but I could tell from looking at her face that she was deeply touched.  I thanked her again and left.  I returned to my car and now I could feel the anointing build.  I began to pray fervently that my car would run properly and be sufficient on the journey.  After I prayed, I lingered, and then I decided that it was time to try it again.  I turned the key, and guess what happened. . .

I drove back home to finish loading my car and lock up my house.  I was on the road only 30 minutes later than I had originally intended.  I made it to Atlanta without incident and I got ridiculously awesome gas mileage from my 1998 Chrysler Concorde that usually eats gas just by standing still.

This was just the first day of my trip.  Can’t wait to see what happens next.

One Response to “Romans 8:28”

  1. Crystal Arthur Says:

    This is awesome! I can’t wait to read more about your trip!!

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