Like me, you can probably think back and remember every car you ever owned whether it was brand new, that first clunker car, or ones in-between. Often, the type of car relates to our financial status at the time and what we were able to afford.
I never thought I would own a Cadillac while growing up. Sure, we had some good years when the Oldsmobile’s were in the driveway. But never a Cadillac. Those were reserved for the wealthy folks in town.
In 1991, I was young and trying to make it as a Youth Pastor with a wife and a child. After leaving a church we thought was going to be a great place, we literally had nothing. If it weren’t for some gracious people in the church who let us stay rent free at one of their homes on a business property, we would have been moving back in with the parents.
Not long after moving into that blessing of a little home in Fontana, I heard a noise outside and went to look and see what it was. When I opened the door, I saw our car, a Chevy Barretta, being towed away. It was frightening and shocking to the system. Not only were we out of a job, but now, we were out of a car too.
After making a call to a pastor friend of mine telling him what happened, we got a call back saying his church had raised $2,000 to help us purchase a used vehicle. What a miracle that was!
Since we didn’t have a car, we had to walk to the grocery store around the corner for a few weeks. On one of those days, I saw a gold Cadillac sitting in the parking lot for sale. It was in perfect condition and was selling for $2500. Wow! I couldn’t believe it. After calling the number on the for-sale sign, I met with the owner who, when he understood our situation, gladly sold the car for what we had.
The only hitch… The Cadillac was a DIESEL! Yes, it was a ‘clacker’. It was built during the energy crises to save on fuel. Sure, it had all the bells and whistles and driving down the road was like floating on a cloud. Here is what it looked like below except it was gold.
The problem with the diesel was that it had no power and blew black smoke behind us when we went up hills or hit the gas too hard. BUT, even though we had nothing, literally, we drove around in a shiny Cadillac and we couldn't have been more thankful (never mind the black smoke anyway…)!
Why tell this story? Well, for some, having the best of everything is what drives them and is very important. For others, maybe who have been raised in humble means like me, the finer things really don’t live up to what they are sold to be.
What’s important is what we do with what we have. Sure, that was one of the worst financial times of my life, but, God got me through it with the help of friends. Did I learn lessons during that time? Oh yeah! One lesson was to stay in the far right lane while driving up a steep hill in a diesel Caddy… Even though we had nothing, God provided a car. Not just any car, either. A Cadillac!
If you’re in a tough spot financially, I want to encourage you that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. He can, and will, provide a way where there seems to be no way. It may mean settling for something less than you’re used to or going without, but He knows your needs and will always take care of you.
Today, I want to give a shout out to that pastor and the families who helped me during a rough patch financially (you know who you are…). Thank you for being so gracious and helping me during that time. I will always be grateful….