Feb 11, 2016

How I Got My Gold Mercedes

Cathy and I have owned a lot of different kinds of vehicles over the past thirty six years; some that we worked to get the money to purchase, several that were given as gifts to us. Either way, each one provided what we needed as far as space or practicality to get us and also our children and cargo (groceries, furniture, lumber, equipment or tools) from one place to another. 

My first car was a 1964½ Ford Mustang which I had purchased from my parents. When my children were older and found out that I used to have one, some of them questioned why I ever got rid of such a cool car. Little did they know that in the mid-seventies, Mustangs, or as they were affectionately called: “Rustangs”, were NOT considered to be cool cars! None the less, it served me well for transportation and the only reason I got rid of it was because it needed transmission work.

After that I purchased a GM Pontiac Catalina that had a leather top and interior; which pretty much meant that I was now shifting from being single to being married. I was dating Cathy at the time and her dad said; “It’s sad that your car is much nicer than mine!” Years later he was able to purchase what he wanted and turned the tables by giving several vehicles to us for our growing family.

Over the years we had several different sizes and styles of pickups, mini-vans, and station wagons; including the infamous “LTD County Squire” with the faux wood paneling on the outside! For many years I had a fully loaded All Wheel Drive Jeep Grand Cherokee that, in spite of the commercials, got less traction in the snow than Cathy’s front-wheel drive Saturn!

But my absolute favorite vehicle that I ever received was my gold Mercedes, which someone also gave to me for free. I was working with a young man named Christopher from church. He had recently committed his life to the Lord and was trying to sort out some stuff from his past. One of the areas he was trying to deal with was whether or not a Christian should have wealth. He had grown up in a family that had money. His father owned a successful company and he never had to struggle financially; in fact he wore a Rolex watch while he did construction.

We were discussing his dilemma and I commented that “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” (See Matthew 6:24-34). 

I said to him that instead of looking to himself, he needed to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) and explained how we had been given several vehicles over the years for free from others who no longer needed them.

He tried to dismiss my comments because he was raised with the understanding that everything we get in life is due to our own efforts and that God has nothing to do with it. He went on to taunt my faith by stating that if I really believed what I was saying, than I should ask God for a Mercedes.

I explained that personally it didn’t matter to me whether I received a vehicle because God gave me the job, ability, talents, and strength to do a job and I was able to earn enough money to pay for a vehicle, or because someone gave it to me as a gift. I was going to look to the Lord either way for His provision.

He went on to taunt my faith by stating that if I really believed what I was saying, than I should ask God for a Mercedes, pointing out one that had driven past us.

I told him that I didn’t need a Mercedes because it wasn’t practical for our family and because I didn’t want the cost of owning one.

He went on to taunt my faith by stating that if I really believed what I was saying, than I should ask God for a Mercedes. I said OK and said that I would ask for one under two conditions:
  1. He needed to pray with me in faith for the Lord to give us one
  2. After I received one, he needed to let me know what to do with it since I didn’t really need one EXCEPT to prove to him that the Lord COULD provide one.
So we prayed, finished working, and then went home for the day with no knowledge that within the next twenty four hours I would be given for free a gold colored Mercedes-Benz 450SE; which I still own today.

The long and the short of it is that the next morning I was working at a friend’s house alongside of him and his brother when at some point his brother’s son came up to me because he wanted me to have something. It was his gold colored Mercedes-Benz 450SE. I asked his dad what he was doing and he said that it he was ok with his son giving me the Mercedes so I gratefully received the gift and expressed my gratitude to his son and to the Lord for His generous gift; astonished at how quickly He had answered my prayer that had been uttered less than twenty four hours before.

I should probably also tell you that the son was five years old and that the Mercedes was manufactured by the Matchbox corporation and so it was only two inches in length, but I had my Mercedes! And, in a few hours, I would be at a wedding along with Chris and was excited to show him just how quickly the Lord had answered our prayer.

When I showed Chris the car, he tried to (at first) dismiss it because it was in fact just a toy. But I reminded him that I said that I didn’t need a Mercedes because it wasn’t practical for my family. I told him that I believed that the Lord had provided this toy to let Chris know that He could be trusted to provide for Chris; he simply need to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness…

Chris remembered the second part of our agreement and said to me that he wanted me to keep the toy as a reminder for others who would come into my path so that I could tell the story how the Lord had provided a simply example of how He can be trusted.

Years later, while outside cutting my grass, Chris (now married) drove up in this used fully loaded Cadillac with his children and told me that he had asked the Lord for one and was humored that it was used, not new! He went on to tell me several stories of how he had seen the Lord prove His faithfulness to Chris over the years; reminding me that it all started with a gold colored Mercedes-Benz 450SE several years earlier.

I tell this story not to communicate how or what the Lord will provide; just that He will provide for each of your needs. And, His provision isn’t based on any formula. I write this to simply say, quoting King David; “I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread.” (Psalm 37:25). Simply put, He knows what you need. Your role is to look to Him for direction and provision. He can be trusted to be faithful.

All Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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