I was rototilling our garden last week when I noticed only one of the two wheels was driving the tiller. I had tried to turn one direction and the tiller just wanted to spin in a circle—kind of like having only one oar in the water when rowing a boat! I saw that an axle pin had fallen out. There wasn’t much hope of finding it in the loose dirt, so I went to look for another, but didn’t have any, so I improvised with a 16d form nail, bending it so it wouldn’t fall out. But after a few more minutes it did! I tried another nail, bending it a bit more tightly, but alas it fell out again. As I shut off the tiller, I noticed my neighbor, Jay, standing at the garden gate. He had worked on the transmission for me a couple years ago and wanted to know how it was doing. I said, “It’s working great, but I’m down to one-wheel drive! My axle pin fell out and my improvisations haven’t worked.” He smiled and reached in his pocket and pulled out an axle pin! In fact he not only pulled out one, but three from his pocket! Now who goes around carrying axle pins in their pocket? He and his wife had purchased a sink at a yard sale and for whatever reason, the pins were under the sink, and Jay had put them in his pocket, having no idea that I would need one—but God knew!
I wrote a “Wisdom of the Week” on another occasion about when we were traveling with our son in Oregon on a dark, wintry December evening when his transmission light had come on. We had stopped at Multnomah Falls parking lot and checked the fluid level which was quite low. We were the only vehicle in the dark parking lot when we got there, but then a van pulled up and parked beside us. They, like we, had been detoured because of the snow storm. I tapped on their window and asked the driver if he might possibly have any transmission fluid with him. The back of their van was packed tightly with belongings. He said he thought he did. As he opened the gate on the rear of the van, a quart of transmission fluid rolled out onto the parking lot!
Now, I know that every time we need something, God doesn’t necessarily send someone to supply it, but He obviously knows the need, and on occasion, like any loving Father, does so in a rather obvious way, showing us how much He cares about even the small details of our lives, and demonstrating His omniscience (knowing everything) and omnipotence (power to do anything). I’m reminded of the time Peter approached Jesus regarding paying the annual tax to support the temple. The tax collectors asked Peter whether or not their teacher (Jesus) was going to pay the tax. Members of the royal family were exempt from paying the tax. Thus Jesus, the Son of God, and of the line of David, was not personally obligated to pay for the support of God’s house, but since they didn’t understand that and to avoid being a stumbling block, He would pay. The tax was two drachmas (or a half-stater). Jesus said to Peter: “…lest we give them offense, go to the sea, and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a stater. Take that and give it to them for you and me” (Mt. 17:27). Hey, that’s a great way to pay your taxes!
Remember the story of Elijah and the drought? God told him to go to the brook Cherith where He sent ravens morning and evening to provide Elijah with bread and meat (I Kgs. 17:2-6). Then when the brook dried up, God sent Elijah to Zarephath to stay with a widow and her son. They had only enough flour and oil for one more meal, but neither one ran out while Elijah stayed there.
All this to say, God knows our needs and does really care for us and occasionally provides in some unusual ways so we know He did it. He provides for us on a daily basis and we must not take for granted each breath we take and our “daily bread.” But also watch for those special times when He does the unusual to let us know He is still there watching over us and caring for us. And be sure to give Him the praise—whether it is for a quart of transmission fluid delivered to a dark parking lot at Multnomah Falls, or an axle pin for a rototiller that the neighbor “just happens” to have in his pocket!
“Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you. He will never allow the righteous to be shaken” (Psa. 55:22). “Casting all your anxiety (cares) upon Him, Because He cares for you” (I Pet. 5:7). “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they are?” (Mt. 6:26). God knows when a sparrow falls to the ground. He knows the number of hairs in your head (Means more to some than others!). Jesus said, “Therefore do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Mt. 10:1).
God knows all about our needs and really cares for us—for every detail of our lives. He promised to never leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13:5).