Jana and I own, and drive, a 1992 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight. I was an underclassmen in high school when this car came off the factory line. It’s old.
Don’t get me wrong, we have been grateful for this car. When our previous car died, during the morning rush hour on Dodge Street, we were given the Oldsmobile by a family member. That was the fall of 2008. We’ve had this car three and a half years, and it’s worked for us as our family has grown from three to five.
There are issues with the car, though. The air conditioning hasn’t worked for almost two years. Sometimes the locks don’t work. Transmission has been spotty. Brakes have been completely replaced. Radiator has had some issues. The electrical needs to be fixed with the turn signals. It’s leaking something, which may be a mixture of a few liquids. The interior is, well, the interior is twenty years old. And, if we ever have a fourth child, our Oldsmobile wouldn’t be able to hold our entire family.
Yeah, the car is not holding up too well, and we’re not enthralled with the idea of sinking more money into it.
We need a new car. Specifically, we need a minivan. Since we just got out of debt, we don’t want to go right back into debt with a car purchase. We are saving money, but to buy a nice minivan it will take us some time to save up enough.
So, we are praying for a new minivan. It’s been challenging, and convicting, praying for one because I’ve noticed my own false humility (pride), and lack of faith, when praying. I was challenged in my lack of faith when my 5-year old son Liam was praying for a new minivan. I had been praying for something that would just get us by, a used vehicle. Not Liam. He was praying for a new minivan “that has tv’s so we can watch movies when on long road trips to Ohio”. Why not? What’s wrong with a new vehicle? Nothing. Will we get something right of the lot? Not saying that, but why be ashamed of something new? I had been praying for something that would just be good enough.
Jana and I were trying to think of cars we owned and how old they were when we got them. Most of our cars had at least seven years on them. We were always grateful for the cars, bu we were also dealing with major repairs. The cars brought frustration, and yet here I was praying for something along those lines again.
I was reminded of a passage from the Book of Matthew.
Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
(Matthew 7:9-11 ESV)
God knows what Jana and I would like for our family. There’s no shame in asking for it, especially when it is a tangible need.
I’m also aware of the needs families face around Omaha, and the world. There are families that face starvation on a daily basis. My family has received innumerable provision and blessings. I had felt bad, at times, praying for a new vehicle because I know there are families facing much more dire situations. Trying to make the ask of a new minivan, in a fashion that makes me look more spiritual, just reveals my own pride.
This is a need my family faces. I don’t want to make it any bigger or smaller than what it is. We would ask that you pray with us as we ask God to provide a new minivan for us. (“New” is not necessarily being right off the lot. “New” to me is something within three years of its release and having low mileage and use.)
How that will happen remains to be seen, but you will hear about it here at some point.