It was Sunday afternoon. The sun was shining and the temperature above freezing - the perfect opportunity to wash my salt-coated van. I'd been grumbling about it for a week, telling my husband it was like "seeing through a glass darkly," and hoping he would get it washed before leaving for Europe. He didn't, and now I was determined. Washing the van shouldn't have been much of an issue, but I'd never actually driven it through a car wash, and questioned my ability to navigate this somehow daunting task. Yet the afternoon was so perfect, how hard could it be?
I waited in line until it was my turn to punch in my pre-paid code - once, twice, three times - without success. The picky little machine simply refused to accept the code. I grabbed my wallet and started hastily feeding dollar bills into the slot, until it finally accepted enough for a basic wash not the one I'd already paid for, but that no longer mattered.
The door opened and beautiful, sudsy, white underbody foam sprayed from the jets as I inched forward. Ahhhthis wasn't so hard. I could already envision my van, clean and glistening, in the mid-winter sunshine. As the "Drive Slowly" light went out, I stopped and waited, expecting bursts of cleansing water to spray my van at any moment. I waitedand waited, and nothing happened - absolutely nothing! No water sprayed from the nozzles, no soap soaked my van, and no lights ever came back on. But the front door eventually began to rise, and there I sat in my salt-encrusted van, ready to cry. I should have laughed. The attendant sure did! She handed me a new code, and when I asked the expiration date, she laughed again, asking, "Why?" I think she actually expected me to try that again, but I'd already decided I would simply drive my salt-white van exactly as it was until spring!
Later that evening, as I was cleaning up from dinner, I heard what sounded like big, fat raindrops hitting the roof. I checked. Unbelievably, it was raining! My heart soared. My amazing Heavenly Father knew all about this tiny, seemingly insignificant detail in my life, and cared so much that He sent a car wash - a car wash even I could manage. I grabbed the keys and backed my van out of the garage and right into that steadily falling rain. It was a moment of pure joy!
Philippians 4:19 says, "And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus." God knows every single detail of our lives, and He cares about them deeply. He loves us so much more than we can begin to imagine, and promises to provide everything we need, not always in ways we expect, but always perfectly, in His time and His way. God didn't smooth out the bumps in my afternoon, because His gift was already on its way - a Heavenly car wash - no codes, no machines, no money, no lines, and no skill necessary, just His perfect presence and my faith.
Cindee Snider Re lives in Sussex, WI with her husband, their five children, two cats, and two Shichon puppies. She enjoys quiet evenings, long walks, good books, homeschooling her kids, and lots of good, strong, hot, black tea.