Are you in God's hands?

Originally Appeared in : 9823-11/8/18

My eyes went left and right in search of a black-suited man with Band-Aids on his face as the service center lady said, “You need a new motor.”


“A new what?” was the only reply I could muster, still intently focused on locating "Mayhem" somewhere in our vicinity. Magan was left shaking her head saying, “What?” in hopes of luring me away from the phone long enough to share the news.


It had all started when Magan returned from an errand run to say, “Your car is making a horrible noise?”


We arrived back at the dealer, a full six hours after dropping off our Forte, with cranky kids and crankier adults and still no sign of "Mayhem." We did, however, discover our neighbors and fellow parishioners, the Vedders, waiting in the dealer lot as we drove up.


A “Why are y’all here?” garnered a, “Oh a laundry list,” reply from the Vedders, who were more worried their cats were not at all pleased with the all-day repair project.


“They start crying when we’re not home to feed them,” Mrs. Mariette said.


“If they don’t honor our warranty, I’ll be crying too,” I joked.


There were no tears and still no "Mayhem," though, as Mr. Pieter listened to the service lady inform me that she hadn’t been given the “all clear” on the warranty approval, meaning the earliest she could secure our rental was the next day...if the repair was approved at all.


Thankfully, the delay caused by our discussion allowed Mr. Pieter to inspect and correct the keychain selection he had made for Mrs. Mariette (“I said the one with the heart, not a car”), and we also enjoyed burgers and ice cream for lunch, so the afternoon wasn’t a total loss.


“Hopefully, they’ll honor the warranty,” I said to Magan on the drive home. “If not, we’ll figure it out.”


As we headed home, I realized I was likely going to have to pick up our rental in the midst of Hurricane Michael’s arrival. Still no "Mayhem."


Two days later, I was literally pulling the rental into the garage as we were evacuating for my sister’s house in Buford. I told Noah, who was riding one row back to manage the iPad movie theater on his mother’s backseat, “If Michael destroys our home, it will be fine. We can build another one. At the end of the day, it’s only stuff.”


Around 4 the next morning, I woke up and tapped on that same iPad to load our local news team broadcast to check on Michael’s wake, and discovered it had done significant damage to Laurens County. In fact, I later discovered that Dublin had even made a Weather Channel graphic (not necessarily something to be lauded, for sure).


It wasn’t until mid-morning, when Grandma Mary Louise unintentionally violated the mandated curfew to inspect our home for damage, that we discovered that our house had been spared. Power wasn’t restored until after 7 p.m., which spurred an impromptu departure from my sister’s house down the highways and byways to home. But we were home.


Cleanup began the next morning and was complete by lunch, and still no "Mayhem."


Vigil Mass came around Saturday evening and, lo and behold, the readings and subsequent homily focused on our willingness or unwillingness to relinquish attachment to possessions in favor of following God.


When I heard, “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God,” (Mark 10:25) I was grateful that God had blessed Magan and me with peace in our hearts concerning both our car and our home.


The world would have us fret over broken motors or potentially damaged abodes, but the lesson in both examples returns back to having faith in God’s plan for our lives.


The book of 1 Timothy says our greatest gain is contentment earned by trusting God: “But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.”


If we truly trust him, then we should have faith he will provide us with our needs and, therefore, we shouldn’t need a car or a house to feel safe or satisfied in our lives.


So the next time you find yourself looking around for "Mayhem" just remember, you’re in good hands with All God.


Jason Halcombe has five sons and two daughters. He and his wife, Magan, are members of Immaculate Conception Church, Dublin.

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