It’s almost a year ago now that I was reading a book about a missionary. As I was reading, it really struck me that, wow, God can really speak and answer clearly to someone. Quietly, I asked God if He could be that clear in my life, as well. Not that He hadn't been leading us over the years, of course, but I asked Him for something more.
After using the public transport with our family of five for almost five years, we felt it was time to buy a car to make it easier to travel and go out of our crowded city in Turkey. We thought it would be great to buy a seven-seater, so we could also use it while we had guests. But weeks and months went by, but we couldn’t find a car.
One evening, we asked God to make it clear to us what we had to look for. We tried to listen to Him and were quiet. My husband Mark heard "Seven-seater," and I got the word "black."
I don’t think it could have been more clear, but in the days and weeks that followed, it didn’t seem that clear anymore. We figured that there weren't many seven-seater cars in Turkey. Mark suggested to start looking for a five-seater.
"But what about the words that God spoke?" I asked him.
It felt like being Sara, Abraham's wife in the Bible, who heard from the Lord that He would give her a son. She didn't believe, because she was so old, so she "helped" God to give her and Abraham one by giving her servant to her husband.
We decided to wait on God.
One Monday morning, I opened the mail and there it said, "For sale seven-seater car in Izmir." I couldn’t believe my eyes.
"Mark, look, it's our car that's for sale, and it's black," I cried.
We wrote back and had an appointment the same afternoon. The car was great and exactly the price we wanted to pay, but there was this one small thing: it wasn't black. Yes, it said in the mail that it was black, but I didn’t read that that was the interior.
We told the selling party we would think about it and tell them in a week’s time. We talked and prayed. What did God want us to do? God didn’t speak, but we didn’t get any peace about it either.
We felt we had to not to take the car. We wrote the people that we couldn’t decide yet but that they could contact the other people that were interested. We truly believed that God would be faithful to His promises and speak in whatever way. After that, we prayed again and told God that it was in His hands, if this was the car that He wanted to give us, He had to be very clear. We asked Him to show us by the people taking $1000 off the price. It felt like Abraham putting his son Isaac on the alter, after God had granted him the child He'd promised.
We didn’t hear back from the people the next two days, but then, there was an email in my mailbox. It said, "We need the money to help buy a new car, so we will take $1000 off the price. Are you interested?"
For the second time, I couldn’t believe my eyes. We hadn't ever spoken about the price with the sellers. There was no human reason why they would negotiate with us. But God is faithful, and He speaks. Our car really was like Isaac on the alter: we gave it back to God, and He gave it to us again!
The funny thing was that, during our family time with our sons in that same week, we had studied the story of Abraham. We promised the boys a very special ice cream but didn’t tell them when they would get it. They had to wait for a whole week. Not only did they get the ice cream but also a new car; it communicated the theme of God's faithfulness to them even more than we could have imagined.
It communicated to Mark and me, too. God showed us again that we can trust Him. He will do what He says. His promises are "Yes."
God saw my prayer and made it clear to me that He isn't only talking to "special" missionaries like the one in the book I'd read, but to ordinary people like me, as well.