I drive a 1994 Acura Integra which I purchased in 1997. It is in great shape, and I still enjoy driving it. Last year I was driving in town, and my car lurched violently two or three times.
I thought to myself, “Was that a problem with the car, did I hit some bad potholes, or did my right foot have a spasm?” It did not happen again that day, so I thought nothing more of it.
Randomly over the next few months, the car would do this violent lurching again—sometimes at slow speed and sometimes on the highway. It would only last a few seconds and then be gone, but still it was unsettling.
This was not my imagination, and it must be fixed for safety! I googled a few things regarding car stalling (car lurching did not get good hits). I cleaned the throttle body and intake. Still, the problem would randomly occur. I could not figure this out.
So I starting praying and asking the Lord what it could it be. No answer. So I looked under the hood while the car was running and saw my 21-year-old radiator hose swollen up like a grapefruit. This search found many hits along with some of my symptoms. I replaced the upper radiator hose and monitored.
The car drove fine for a number of weeks. “Thank you Lord for showing me what was wrong!” Or so I thought.
The next week while driving on the highway at 65 MPH, the car did the violent lurching again. This time I noticed that the speedometer and tachometer dropped to zero, then back to normal, then to zero, and back to normal when the lurching happened. Now what? An expensive diagnosis of a symptom that cannot be reproduced on demand? I was discouraged.
Then the Lord brought one of my favorite scriptures to my mind: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV)
I did just that. “Lord, I do not understand what is wrong with my car. Thank you for showing me that the 21-year-old radiator hose was about to break. Thank you for your goodness and always taking care of me. You know my situation with the car. I need your help. Would you show me what the problem is? I give this worry about the car to you. Thank you for loving me.”
At that moment the Lord told me to look at my ignition key. I noticed the key was extremely worn (brass instead of silver), but I’d never really thought about that since the car always started. So I searched “worn car key,” and the symptoms were just like my lurching. When driving, the key would jiggle just right to make the car think that no key was in the ignition and cut all power, then back on when the key jiggled back to the proper spot.
I compared my spare key to my main one. The original was indeed quite worn, so I started using the spare key. After a few weeks, the problem never returned, so I had a new key cut for less than $5, and now I have been driving for months without incident. Thank you, Lord!
Nothing is too small for God. Not everyone’s car issues will be fixed with a simple new key, but it is not about big or small. It is about relationship with Him. The greatest peace comes when I give it all to Him each day–all day, every day. When I just talk with the Lord about every step in that day.
The worry and anxiety comes when I try to be in control. We try to control things when all we have to do is let God do what He has already done.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV)
I didn’t understand–and still do not understand–many things, but my job is to trust what has already be done on the cross.
If I would have figured out the key in the beginning, I may have been stranded when the radiator hose blew. Instead, the Lord fixed two issues without incident and for less than $20 total. Seek, listen, act. Thank Him and be grateful for little ways he provides for your family—like a worn key being the problem.