Lessons from a Used Car Saleman

Psalm 119:2 – “Blessed are they who keep His statues and seek Him with all their heart.”

To say that I felt a bit hypocritical yesterday as I wrote about being blessed is an understatement. You see, when I was writing about God’s blessing, I was also feeling bitter.

Why?

Because, it feels like our entire financial world is being rocked(BLESSED, it could be our health). I chipped my tooth on a tootsie pop yesterday, and it will cost $400 to get it fixed (BLESSED, I have insurance). We have school shopping to do for four kids (BLESSED, my wife is an incredible bargain shopper and has already found great prices on almost everything that we need). We returned from a wonderful vacation (BLESSED, unlike the majority of the world we actually got to take a vacation) on Saturday. I was driving our van. It made it over 1300 miles without incident (BLESSED). On Sunday morning, as I was driving to church with Breanna and Chris I noticed a very loud noise coming from the front of our van. I’d heard the noise before. On a prior vehicle, the noise resulted in a tire falling off of the car as I was driving and ruining the car (BLESSED, because I could have been killed). After church, I took the van to a service station. My engine light was on too, so they ran a full diagnostic. The result? I need a new transmission and new wheel bearings. The noise was due to the fact that our wheel bearings are going to give out. The cost was estimated to be at least $4000. Our van has over 164,000 miles on it (BLESSED – That’s a ton of miles! BLESSED – We have a van).

So, I was upset. We do not have any money to put towards another vehicle. With four kids, one income, and Christian school education for three of our kids (BLESSED – We have been given so much) there just isn’t enough money to go around for another car payment.

Cyndi and I drove to the car dealership where we purchased my car a few years ago (BLESSED – We have two vehicles). When we got there I put on my best car buying face. I didn’t want to purchase anything, because I knew we couldn’t, but wanted to at least hear what we might be able to afford.

We were greeted by a used car salesman. And, he totally fit the stereotype. Except for the fact that he had told his boss to go home, because his boss was working too much, and he thought his boss needed to spend time with his family.

Over the course of the next hour, our salesman opened up to us. He told us of his divorce a few years back. His wife ran off with his best friend. He told us about his two kids who are in college. He told us of his own financial crisis. He was two weeks away from losing his home. And, he told us about how God had provided. He found this job around the time that he was about to lose his home. He had one great month that allowed him to make up for three months on his mortgage. He doesn’t know how he is going to make it this month, but he is trusting God. He told us that he had read a book about praising God in everything. “And so,” he said with a smile, “I am praising God for my children. I am praising God when I make a sale. I am praising God for my financial troubles. I am praising God for my divorce. I am praising God for the years that I have had in my home. I am praising God for my physical ailments. I’m praising God for it all. And, it’s transforming my life.”

I was convicted. Here I sat as the pastor, upset at God for letting my van get wrecked, and I was being taught by a man who has lost almost everything. (BLESSED)

So, what about Psalm 119:2?

Here’s what I’ve learned so far.

1) God really wants me to understand what it means to be blessed. He has already blessed me, but He wants me to know how much more blessed are those who seek Him and obey Him.

2) Jared Falkanger, one of my students sent me Jeremiah 29:11 today on my Facebook account. It’s a verse that I am reminded of at least once a week. But, today, I recalled Jeremiah 29:11-13, which says,

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

God wants me to seek Him with all of my heart. It’s talked about in Deuteronomy 4:29 too.

3) God really wants us to KEEP his commands. He talks about it in verses 22 and 146 of Psalm 119 as well. He also talks about it in Deuteronomy 6:17. Jesus told his disciples to keep his commands in John 14:23 (This was just a few days before He was crucified). Right before David died, he told his son Solomon, the heir to the throne to “walk in His ways and keep His decrees . .. ” in 1 Kings 2:3.

4) I can’t keep the commands of God without the Holy Spirit’s work in my life (Ezekiel 36:27).

Finally, I read about King Hezekiah today. In 2 Chronicles 31:21 it says, “In everything that he undertook in the service of God’s temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered.”

Dear God,

Help me to obey you like Hezekiah. Help me to follow you even when no one else in the world is. Help me to seek you with all of my heart. May my life be a living sacrifice. And, may I always remember the lesson of the used car salesman. Please give me the strength to praise you in everything.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.