Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
Everyone lies to their neighbor;
they flatter with their lips
but harbor deception in their hearts.
May the Lord silence all flattering lips
and every boastful tongue—
those who say,
“By our tongues we will prevail;
our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”
“Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the Lord.
“I will protect them from those who malign them.”
And the words of the Lord are flawless,
like silver purified in a crucible,
like gold] refined seven times.
You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us forever from the wicked,
who freely strut about
when what is vile is honored by the human race.
– Psalm 12
If the title is confusing, I had complained to the repairman who was inspecting our car that the car ran rough over these horrible pot-hole farms in Pennsylvania. I will not refer to them as roads. Even when the state spends money to add a fresh two-inches of asphalt to the existing ‘pavement’, they do not elevate the storm gratings and manhole covers to the new level. You jump for joy when you get onto smooth pavement and then “Bam!”, you hit a manhole cover. It feels like hitting the curb.
I wrote recently about dodging manholes and someone thinking I was challenging him – returning the challenge in a very frightening manner.
Well, all my careful driving has been for naught. My car did not pass inspection. In fact, the repairman said that it was a miracle that we had not wrecked the car. Maybe it was. God does take care of us. The car drove a little rough. It felt like you hit a curb at high speed when you only hit a poorly smoothed patch of a pot-hole. You know the ones where they fill the pot-hole and hope that traffic ‘smooths it out.’ One coil spring had broken into two pieces (not rupturing anything else, miraculously) and the front struts were shot. So, without front struts, our car will not be strutting for a few days. We hope to have the car back by Christmas, maybe the day after. Meanwhile, we are renting a car at our expense.
We learned all this while driving home from the pharmacy yesterday, after three doctor appointments in one day. As far as the doctor appointments are concerned, my wife got mixed reviews during her two doctor visits. One doctor changed some medication, thus the trip to the pharmacy, but he did so because she is getting healthier four months after her open-heart surgery. The bad part of the mixed review was that her kidney function had slipped a little, a single point. Not enough to be alarmed, but her numbers are very low to begin with. This may mean another change in medication from a different doctor who was treating a totally different problem. More to follow when we know more. The second doctor of the day felt that her improved health meant that he only had to see her once per year.
I was not as lucky. Nothing serious, but I must see the same doctor (the second of the day) twice a year to monitor things that are not quite right, nothing bad, just life quality issues.
While driving home after the phone call and over our dinner conversation in the kitchen, there was no wailing or complaining. There was no angst over how we can recover from the financial setback of auto repair and extended car rental. We simply figured out which checkbook to use when we write out a monster check. Most people would not consider this a monster check, but I did not plan to retire. Retirement simply happened when laid off at an advanced age. I was over the unofficial limit to do job searches per a recent survey. Lose your job when over 60 in the US? You are retired.
For me it was easy to figure out the financial impact. Two months ago, I got a small job from my old company. The company wanted me to do everything from home. I only came into the office once, since the computer files were too large to attach as e-mails. A quick job that required working over a couple of weeks, including weekends, and a modest paycheck.
Hmmm. Just a little more of a modest paycheck than what the combination of car rental and auto repair will be. I had no plan, but God did.
Our prayer as we blessed the food was praise to God for allowing us to have the money to pay for repairs and asking forgiveness for being shaken by the financial loss. I guess it is alright to do both. It is the old ‘I believe, but forgive me for my unbelief.’ We had not expected the request for project work, but we had spent bits and pieces of the paycheck in our minds. My wife thinks of others, especially the grandchildren. I was thinking of how I could use the money for travel expenses when we visited the grandchildren next year, when my wife is 100% healthy.
We received an unexpected ‘gift’. (Gift in that the project work was unexpected, but I earned it.) Our plan to use that ‘gift’ did not match God’s plan. But now we will be driving a much safer car.
This reminds me yet again how wonderful God is. I did not expect the project work, but God knew two months ago that I would need the cash today. Praise the Lord.
I chose the Scripture because it was one of three uses of ‘strut’ in the NIV translation of the Bible. Yes, my sense of humor at work. But in reading the entire psalm, it struck me as being a spiritual summary of what is going on today and God’s promise to protect those who call upon Him. Most people today are either denying God’s existence or they are unfaithful. Yet, for those who are faithful and turn to God, He is not just there, He protects them. He might even give them a job that they were not expecting. So, let evil men strut around and look important. I have Almighty God protecting me.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.