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I put my debit card in the machine and tapped the numbers for my security code. “Declined.” What? I knew the money was there and said so. Embarrassed, I removed my card and told the man behind the counter to try again as I reached instead for my credit card. The transaction went through and my bill for shocks and struts on my car was “paid.” But the embarrassment of the declined card lingered despite the service man’s calm composure and apparently unworried response to my declined card. I thanked him, forced a smile, and went to find my car after he told me the keys were in it. One nice thing about living where I do is having small-town service and small-town honesty. While law enforcement would prefer we all lock our cars, a gander at the exhaust pipes around a frozen parking lot in the middle of winter will tell you that most of us don’t do what law enforcement would prefer.

I found my car exactly as I was told, keys in the cupholder. Happy to be on my way I went to do some errands in town. My car drove like a dream. I decided with such a nice ride, the dust I noticed when I got in the car should be washed off so I bought a car wash, and nestled Ruby in between the rails for a deluxe bath. I listened to the whoosh and whir of the suds and water as I rehearsed the payment incident. Just as, “Now rinsing with spot-free water” flashed across the car-wash screen, it hit me. One thousand dollars! That’s it! The bill for my shocks and struts came to $1025.67! My daily debit limit was set to $1000! “Dah!” I thought to myself, “Why didn’t I think of that when I was in the shop?!”

Not wanting to leave things hanging, but mostly because in a small town where I will no doubt do business again at this wonderful shop, I decided to go back and explain what happened and also let them know that my car now rides better than a Cadillac. It’s a Chrysler! Back in the shop, the man who had served me offered a huge smile for my explanation and showed appreciation that I was pleased with the work that had been done. I left the shop all smiles, customers who overheard my story were also smiling and so was my friendly car repair shop guy. It was a good day. Yes, it was a very good day.

When we come to our heavenly Father with our life full of harsh bumps and disturbing rattles, we never have to worry about our withdrawal from heaven’s resources being declined. There is no limit on God’s grace. We will need a security code but it’s the same for everyone and available to anyone. It’s 1 John 1:9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

My car wasn’t right so I took it to the shop and got it fixed. That’s salvation. Then I went the extra step and took it to the car wash where it was cleansed. That’s sanctification. And I went back to the shop with my heartfelt gratitude and when I left, the whole shop was smiling. That’s multiplication!

I’m absolutely sure the next time I need something fixed on my car, I will go back to that one specific shop because I trust them. And I’m absolutely sure that there is one specific God whom we can trust to fix the rattles and bumps in our life that leaves all of heaven smiling.

Prayer: Gracious God and Creator, thank you for your extravagant love and goodness to us even through the bumps and rattles of our life. Help us to trust you more. In Jesus' name and for your glory. Amen.

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