Robert Rhyne Armstrong May 23, 2009 1:20 PM – Show original item
Just as we were letting go of some things around the house to raise money for Peru, we were hit with something that might have made it impossible for me to even go to Peru.
We didnâ€™t make a killing at the yard sale, but we did sell most of the good things we had to offer and were going to be able to put around $200 towards the trip. The rest would go to getting the kids clothes for the summer and other summertime related expenses that we know are coming up (camps, classes, etc.) I left the sale very early because Hollis had a soccer tournament that he had to play in over at Forsyth Fusion Soccer. My beautiful wife stayed behind and diligently haggled, argued, and played the salesperson. The games wereâ€¦ehâ€¦and on the way home, the van just stopped going. It didnâ€™t make any sounds, lurch, shake, or anything. It just stopped going. On southbound 400, the boy and I just coasted to a stop under the overpass near exit 14. I tried and tried to get it going again, but it wouldnâ€™t go in gear. It just stayed in neutral.
We sat there for about an hour, trying to figure out what to do, where to take the van, and how we were going to pay for it all. Immediately, I began questioning if I was supposed to be going to Peru. Luckily, we made enough cash to pay for the tow truck and he was nice enough to drop me off at the house. I eventually found out that the transmission went bad and it had to be rebuilt or replacedâ€¦for the second time in less than 2 years. With the things going on (things I wonâ€™t mention here) and now with the expense of getting the van fixed, was it smart to leave my family to try and go help others when it might mean taking away some of their comfort?
That night, I prayed and prayed.
I didnâ€™t ask for money. I didnâ€™t ask for perseverence. I asked God to show me his will in all this and to help me understand why this was all happening. I left it up to Him to convict me one way or another.
The next morning, there was such a peace about the situationâ€¦a peace that I have never felt before. For the first time in my life, I really felt attacked; spiritually, emotionally, and financially attacked. I recognized the situation for what it was and put my trust in God and felt like he would prevail and show me, and everyone watching, that he could handle anything as long as we stayed faithful and did what he asked of us.
That morning in Sunday School class, in worship and then again in evening worship, the messages seemed to be tailor made for my family. I was encouraged and uplifted and was happy for the trials. I understand that the only way for us to prove our faith is to show it during those times when our faith is tested. I could have very easily sent back all of the money donated to me and put the money I made on my own and in the yard sale towards getting the van fixed and other things in order. But that was not what Godâ€™s plan for me was.
I prayed each day, thanking God for his grace and the strength and hope we have through him. And wouldnâ€™t you know? As soon as my resolve was strengthened, God provided.
After this week, I am now 80% towards my fund-raising goal (from 30%!) I am using 1/3 of the money from the yard sale towards the trip, and the rest will go towards the van. I also have some extra work coming in to supplement that so getting it fixed will not be the burden on us that I expected.
I am not saying that I have all of the answers or that God will convict me every time I have a decision to make. I just know that the more we pray and spend time in his Word, the more we will recognize his voice and be able to see his hand in all things. I hope that if anyone reads this and is struggling with something in their life that they will take the time to lean on God for guidance and comfort. There is no one more faithful and capable than Him.