by Eric Dunbar
Why is it that the shy girl in the office that none of the co-workers like, got the promotion that everyone competed for? Do you ever wonder why some people seem to get all the breaks, even though it is obvious that they don’t do anything to merit them? The Bible says that “…exaltation comes neither from the east, nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another” (Psalm 75:6-7). It is because of God’s favor that we prosper. When all seems lost, God gives you favor. When God gives you favor you don’t have to be the most exciting person in the crowd, nor do you have to be the best dressed, or drive the finest car, or live in a gated neighborhood to find favor in the eyes of people you don’t even know.
God told the Prophet Samuel to go to the house of Jesse the Bethlehemite to anoint one of his sons to be king of Israel. When Samuel arrived at the house of Jesse and saw Eliab, one of Jesse’s sons, he thought that Eliab would surely be the one that God would choose to be king because of his physical appearance. But God rejected him. One by one Jesse called seven of his sons in to stand before Samuel but God rejected them all. Finally Jesse sent for his youngest son, David, who was in the field tending to the sheep. As soon as David appeared God told Samuel to anoint him to rule as king of Israel. There was nothing extraordinary about David’s appearance that made him stand out as the future king of Israel. It was only because David found favor in God’s eyes that God prospered him.
A few years after Hurricane Katrina, my wife and I were struggling to get our lives back on track. We relocated to Fort Worth where I was blessed with a very good job working in the aviation business for a well known company that built and serviced aircraft engines worldwide. At the time we owned a 1973 Toyota Corolla that we pushed to the limit because it was our only transportation. We both worked in opposite directions from where we lived, which put a tremendous train on our car. It wasn’t long before our old dependable Toyota succumbed to the pressure, leaving us with no transportation, which resulted in my wife having to quit her job.
When you live in Texas, having a dependable car is an absolute necessity. When our car gave out, I thought I would lose my job as well. One of the benefits that came with my new job was rental car discounts, so I was able to keep my job by renting a car by the week. But there was just one problem: even with a substantial discount, the rental fees consumed a big part of my paycheck. I had tried many times to buy a car, but my not so excellent credit rating, added to the fact that I was new to the region, was a big problem. Everywhere I went to buy a car I was turned down.
One Saturday morning during my personal worship time, the Lord said to me, “Get dressed and go and get a car.” Without a doubt I knew it was God. So I immediately told my wife, “Get dressed. We’re going to get a car.” She didn’t question me, but she looked at me as if I was an alien, and by the look she gave me, I knew she was just going along for the ride to humor me.
I had no idea where I was going, I just got in the car and started to drive. I ended up in Richardson, Texas, which is about 5 miles northwest of my home in Fort Worth. Car lots lined both sides of the highway so I just picked one. When I drove onto the lot a salesman came out to greet me. “How may I help you,” he asked? I told him that I needed a car but my credit was bad and I had no money to put down. What are you saying, I thought? There’s no way you’re going to get a car talking like that. Tut the words just came out of my mouth. The salesman calmly answered, “Let me see what I can do. I’ll be right back.”
He was only gone for a few minutes and when he returned he said, “Come into the office, my boss would like to talk to you.” When we entered the office there was a very pleasant looking man sitting behind a desk. He was polite but straight to the point. There was a 2003 Ford Taurus parked just outside his window. “Take that car for a test drive and tell me if you like it,” he said. We took the car for a drive, and my wife and I both loved it.
“We love it,” I said when we returned. The man politely asked, “Do you have a checking account? “Yes,” I replied. He pulled a stack of papers from his desk drawer and told me to write three post-dated checks in the amount of $250. “Don’t worry,” he added. “I won’t deposit them until you tell me to deposit them.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. A perfect stranger was willing to take me at my word, and I did nothing to convince him. The grace of God is truly amazing. When all seemed lost, God gave me favor. That day we drove home in our very own car.
I had come to a dead end. I desperately needed a car and I had no way of acquiring one. And even though my situation looked hopeless, I continued to trust God. If you’re in a situation that seems hopeless, don’t give up. Continue to trust in the Lord and feed on His faithfulness. If you will delight yourself in the Lord, He will give you the desires of your heart. If you will commit your way to the Lord and continue to trust in Him, He shall bring your desires to pass (Psalm 37:4-5).