Some days we are reminded that God is in control, and we are better off to just trust and accept what comes our way. For me, today was one such day. More accurately, this afternoon was. My wife was planning on going out for a birthday celebratory dinner with her friend, and I have often been arriving home later than usual because I have been coaching a flag football team. These late arrivals mean that my wife is alone with three boys under the age of five sometimes through dinner. So, knowing that she had plans for a much-deserved night of fun and relaxation, I wanted to be able to acquiesce. Of course, as often happens, life decided to get in the way.
While running late for the game, I noticed my “low tire pressure” warning suddenly alert me in my car. When I got stopped for a train (how do they know to schedule those only during the times you’re running late?), I hopped out of my car to see my left rear tire was partially deflated and bore a nail in its tread. After quickly deeming it still safe to drive, I hopped back in my car to finish my short drive to the field.
After an hour of the game drawing my mind completely away from my tire problem, my walk back to my car reminded me that I had to break the news to Amber that I had to go to Costco to hopefully fix my tire in time for Amber to still be able to make her dinner plans. And, of course, that meant that on her night to go out, she would also have to feed all three boys and do bed time routine by herself. All I could do was apologize and hope for the best.
The tire center at Costco thought they could fix it in the fifteen to twenty minutes, which was music to my ears, so I shopped at Costco to see if there was anything we could use. As soon as I walked through the doors, the first thing I saw was a giant display promoting a sale on Amber’s favorite candy. After a casual stroll through the store, I found a gingerbread house kit that Tripp would be thrilled to do with Amber and that I would not have thought to buy had it not been put right in front of me.
After buying a few other things, I walked back over to the tire center to learn they couldn’t patch my tire, but it was in good shape. They filled me with extra air and made my car function like normal so I could drive home in time for Amber to make it to her dinner on time and also for me to surprise her with thoughtful gifts that I never would have imagined buying.
While this isn’t some sort of miracle on par with the parting of the Red Sea, it is one of those tiny blessings that can so often be buried under a heap of frustration and indignation. And, what these sorts of blessings lack in grandeur, they make up for in frequency. How often do we forget something at home, have to go back to get it, and arrive later than planned only to find that our new timeline allowed us to bump into someone we needed to speak to? How often do we drop a piece of food on the ground, and after a grunt at the inconvenience, stoop down to find that the pea we just dropped is lying right next to the crusty spoon your toddler decided to throw under the table (yeah, that one happened tonight, too)?
Sometimes, it’s in these small struggles and small triumphs that we are most able to see the grandest triumph of all – that God made us, that He cares about us, that He loves us and watches over us even when we think no one is looking or no one really cares. I believe when we open our hearts to the Lord and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us; He blesses us with all these constant reminders of His protection. They guide us like the steady hand of a loving Father at our backs. They comfort us like that Father’s embrace. From the mild inconveniences to life’s worst losses, they let us know that He is there … always … and He has a plan to bless us far beyond anything we can conceive.