Driving on a prayer
This post is an excerpt from a book on my career as a truck driver. It happened shortly after I got my own truck and stepped out in faith. It had to be on faith, because I took the last $1500 dollars out of my checking account to make the down payment on my twenty-three year old truck. The only money I had when I started was the advance from my first load and that is how I survived till I retired. Looking back it was an awesome trip.
Everything went fine for about six months and then my first crisis hit. The load I was picking up was in Salina, Kansas going to Mountain Top, Pennsylvania. Yes that is the real name of the town. While deadheading to Salina from Colorado I noticed a loud growling coming from the rear of the truck. I got to Salina and dropped and hooked trailers. Before leaving Salina I decided it was time to take Bertha to the doctor. His diagnosis was severe. The rear ends were about to go out. It would cost $3400.00 to fix them right. It was far more than I had. My company had a policy they did not give loans till you had been with the company a year. Even if I could get them to advance me the money I had already earned it would not be enough.
Not having that kind of money and no way to get it, we would just have to see how far we got. Bertha made it to my home okay but the low growl in Kansas was a roar by Indiana. Fortunately the load was very light and pulled easy. After the week end I had about six hundred miles to go. It went okay till a place called Lamar, Pennsylvania. Stopping to eat and spend my time in the Word I picked up a local copy of the truck trader a newspaper add caught my eye. It was for a company that specialized in repairing rear ends. In one corner of the ad was a little Christian fish logo.
Upon calling the company they told me if I could make the twenty miles up to their shop they would check it out and could get to me the coming morning. On my way there Bertha gave me the scare of my life. It was a very long hill up to their shop. A band blew off my turbo. It sounded like the engine was blowing up. It still ran though it pulled very weakly. We made it to the shop about three in the afternoon and the manager did the inspection. He said they would start in the morning and have me out by noon. When I asked how much it would be I explained my financial situation. He said don’t worry about it. He told me to get a good night’s sleep and pray about it. H said he would see me at seven in the morning.
Next morning he knocked on my door and opened the hood. He fixed the strap on my turbo and backed me into the shop. In an hour and a half they had it apart. True to his word by noon they had the whole thing rebuilt and ready to roll. Then he gave me the bill for $1500. That was almost two thousand dollars cheaper than Kansas.
Again I called my company not really expecting much help. With the pay I had coming I was only a few hundred dollars short. So I asked about the loan again. She asked how long I had had my truck on with the company and I said six months.
She replied by asking me how long I had driven for the company and I replied about a year. She informed me that Saturday I had gone over the one year mark. They based it on time with the company not time in my truck. They lent me all the money. They took it back at one hundred fifty dollars a week. When I told the manager he laughed and said, “That was a good prayer, you can’t beat God.” He was right about that.
After that experience I never worried about how things would work out. When God has his hands on the wheel you can’t go wrong. It says the steps of the righteous are ordered of the Lord. It also says all things work together for good to them that believe on his Word. That is our part we have to believe. We also need to ask for help and guidance. In Joshua 1: 8 KJV it makes clear that those who follow God’s Word will be blessed, but it also says we must make the effort. We do not just sit back and wait on things to happen.
David did not wait for God to take care of Goliath. He rose to the occasion and picked up five stones and went out to meet Goliath. Goliath did not lose because he could not whip David. He lost because he was over confident and self-centered. He did not assess the power of what a slingshot was capable of in a skilled set of hands. God did not leave David hanging either. David picked up five stones. It tells later that Goliath had four brothers. In my life time I have seen the bigger guy get trashed over and over. Also I have seen the little guy win against all odds. It reminds me of the old saying, “It is not the size of the dog in the fight that matters, it is the size of the fight in the dog” Probably one of the truest proverbs ever written.
Learning to trust God does not happen suddenly. Our trust grows as we learn to know what God can do. David had his path prepared by dealing with wild animals that were every bit as deadly as his adversary Goliath. The thing that counted was he knew God would give him the victory. There was no doubt in his mind.