Big Red Is Dead

truck  It was a spectacular grand finale. Big Red hit an ice patch, skidded sideways, spun 360°, plowed through a ditch, rolled over and landed on its wheels in a farmer’s field. What a ride! Don had a front row seat. Thankfully only Big Red was totaled. Don walked away with only a sore back.

Big deal, you say– it is only a truck. But Big Red wasn’t just any old truck as you can see from this story from my upcoming book,         YES, THERE’S MORE.”

 Big Red

On a Friday morning, October 10, 2008, Don prayed this simple prayer: “Lord, give Cathy a fresh story she can use for her teaching on ‘How and Why Should We Pray’ at the Alpha Course on Sunday.”

That evening I was heading home from our granddaughter’s volleyball game on a road we rarely travel. In the twilight I glanced at a truck with a “for sale” sign sitting in a field. The thought popped into my mind, “That is Don’s truck.” I sensed it was God’s voice that I’ve learned to recognize over the years, a “knowing” that resonates within me, often with a unusual thought that comes seemingly out of the blue.

Don’s current pickup had 250,000 miles, and we had been on the lookout for a newer one for about a year. Of course, it couldn’t be just ANY truck. It had to be a F350 diesel, 4x 4, one-ton pickup with crew cab, in good shape, around $10,000.

The next morning I told Don at breakfast, “Oh, I found your truck.”

He laughed, “You what? Is it a F350? Is it…”

I interrupted, “All I know is that there’s a big red pickup in the cornfield a few miles up the road, and I think God said it is the one you are looking for.”

 Don was more annoyed than convinced, but after twisting his arm, he reluctantly drove up to take a look. There it was, everything he was looking for, a F350 diesel, 4×4, one-ton pickup with crew cab in good shape.

He dialed the phone number on the sign, and the seller turned out to be the Mennonite pastor who as a stranger to us a few years back, had helped organize a crew of guys to raise Don’s shed when it blew down. It sounded like God was orchestrating another GodStory.

The next obvious question was “So can we afford this? Lord, show me the mo.” The sign on the truck window said $11,500. Maybe we could borrow any shortage because this was a rare find, the truck he wanted at a price he could afford.

We had extra money in the bank from a large job Don had just completed. When I tallied up our bank accounts, adding the $323 bank deposit lying on the table, I shook my head, “No way! $11,581.27.” We had more than enough.

We called the pastor who had blessed us and blessed him back with his full asking price. Then we gave thanks to our God who cares, who speaks, who orchestrates the details in our lives in such a way that we hear, “I love you. I am present, answering your prayers, working on your behalf.”

On Sunday night I passionately taught on “How and Why Should We Pray” with fresh faith and fire as I shared the story of how God had answered Don’s prayer and provided a truck that we planned to buy Monday morning.

The following Sunday night we drove Big Red to Alpha. I ended my talk with this question, “Did God answer these prayers so miraculously because Don and I are special and He loves us so much? Yes and No. Yes, we are special in His eyes. But no, it wasn’t just because we are special. It was also for you. He wanted YOU to hear this story and know that YOU are special. He is illustrating the kind of loving Father He wants to be for each of us.”

My life verse is “The thief comes to rob, kill, and destroy, but I have come that you might have life in all its abundance.” John 10:10 Wouldn’t you know it? We found Big Red in the cornfield on 10/10.

RIP Big Red.  Your earthly mission is accomplished. I wonder what is next.  YES, THERE’S MORE.