I bought my first car when I was nineteen. Nothing flashy…really it was more of an old-lady car, a bird-shell blue Toyota Corolla.
As a student at God’s Bible School, I needed this car. My first year of college had been covered completely by a scholarship, and I needed to work to cover my second.
This would be my first time to be responsible for all my bills—tuition, room, board, and personal items. I guess I had finally reached adulthood. But with ownership of a car came the realization of everything I would have to cover…gas, oil, the maintenance.
Although my family had made many trips to Cincinnati, that fall as I went back to school, it was my first time to be behind the wheel for the trip. When I came to the exit for interstate 74, I realized I didn’t know whether I was going 74 East or 74 West. In a panic, I pulled into the median between the two and pulled up a map inside my brain. “Indiana to Ohio…east…I want to go east,” I said as I pulled back onto the road.
Now that I was in the driver’s seat, everything was new.
What am I going to do? I wondered. What if my car breaks down…then what? It was probably simple issues for someone else, but they loomed large to me.
I had been the baby of the family, and now it felt overwhelming. I did not want to be in charge!
“God,” I began to pray, “this is your vehicle. If you want YOUR vehicle to break down, you are going to have to figure out how to fix it so that you can pay for YOUR school bill.”
I found I could give my car away…just like that. And there was peace in it!
Down through the years, there would have been more peace if I would have thought to give more things away and just been the steward.
Your home, Lord. Your children. Your job. Your schooling. Your bills.
When my sister Becky went back to school for her nursing degree, she had eight children at home. She had felt so certain that it was the right thing, that it was rolled over on God. She did not have the time or emotional energy with her babysitting children and all the hundreds of things to do.
It was as if she and God had a spiritual agreement worked out.
Many times, she would do her best with the time that she had. She would study all that she was able. But she definitely did not have time to cover the whole section! She would go in and take the test. It would be amazing. Over and over the questions that were asked would be the exact questions that she had time to study.
It was God’s degree. God’s plan. She didn’t need to worry about it.
I’m not smart enough. I don’t have the knowledge to choose my path. I want God to have ownership of everything!
Like Joseph Scriven said, “Oh what peace we often forfeit. Oh what needless pain we bear.”
I still remember the day that I cried at the altar, telling God that He could have everything. I said, “All, God! All! Everything I am at my best…everything I am at my worst. Everything I understand. Everything I don’t understand. All my talents. All!”
I stayed there that day until the word “all” echoed back from heaven, and I knew it was true.
I don’t want to lose sight of that.
William Booth’s children once said that even more amazing than the fact that their father had given God everything he had was the fact that he had never taken it back.
Daddy used to say, “God, when you got me you didn’t get much…but you have all of me.”
May it be so!