Have you ever thought about what holds a car up? Well, I’m gonna give you a quick and basic lesson on automobile suspension. This idea came to me when I was looking out the patio doors at the neighbor’s new used car.
Most people talk about the body – the color, shape, strength, general beauty mostly. But all of that is on the outside. (Which is a whole other blog post to be done.) That outside goes nowhere without the inside. There are lots of different inside parts like the motor, brakes, radiator, alternator – you get the picture. But my thought started with the tires, however in looking up some things on the internet, God led me to the suspension. Now granted, I took a little leeway, maybe a lot, or free rein with my comparisons but I think you’ll get my point and it works for me. (And I learned something about vehicle suspension on the way, too.)
The first part is the frame. That’s the structural, load-carrying component that supports the car’s everything. I likened that frame, the structural part of the vehicle, to God. He’s the load-bearing part. The main structural part. I say that because He provided everything we need on this earth and still does provide for our needs. He loves us so much that He even provided the sacrifice so we can live with Him in heaven someday. Of course, that is a gift – Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Last time I checked, a gift not accepted no longer becomes our gift – we rejected it. I wonder what would happen to a vehicle if the frame was rejected. Without the frame, we have nothing to attach anything to.
The next thing that was mentioned in the definition of the automobile insides was the suspension system. The basic definition was it’s the setup that supports weight, absorbs and dampens shock, and helps maintain tire contact. This is where I thought of Jesus. He supports and is always there through our many difficulties and trials, our heartaches and tears. He never leaves us. Not only that, He gave Himself as the sacrifice for our sins so that not only one day we know we can live in heaven with our Heavenly Father, we can also have contact with God every day! Do you see the comparison like I do? Supports, absorbs and dampens shock, and then contact. It is so encouraging to me there is Someone that I can visually imagine right with me during all those hard times to support me, help absorb and dampen shocks, and most of all makes a way for me to have contact with God. But, let’s not forget, He’s also with us during the good and happy times. We need to thank Him and praise Him when we feel good, when we get a puppy kiss, when we see a newborn anything, or a rainbow in the sky. Praise the Lord!
Then the steering system was listed. That’s the mechanism that enables the vehicle to be guided and directed. If it had no steering system, the car could just roll around here and there, wherever, and eventually crash. A car definitely needs the correct steering system and fluid in that system. [Okay, I realize this part is probably out there and quite a stretch, but stay with me.] Suppose some mechanic refills our vehicle with faulty fluid. We notice things aren’t going quite right but we want to go our own way and think we know what is best, so we ignore it for now. “We’ll keep an eye on it. We’re having fun right now, we’ll take care of it later. It’ll all work out and be okay. Besides, I want to do what I want to do and I don’t want to get this vehicle fixed right now!” Finally, the faulty fluid causes the steering system to gum up everything and we can no longer drive our vehicle or we have a crash.
Now watch this comparison – Satan is the auto mechanic and the faulty fluid are his demons who speak to us each and every day and we listening to them instead of the Holy Spirit. Suddenly they are louder than the Holy Spirit. We figure we’re having fun now. We’re doing what we want to do. This satisfies all our longings so how could it be bad.
Then, after he has us hooked and where he wants us, Satan sits back and laughs as we realize we have really screwed up and we’ve listened to the wrong one. Life didn’t turn out like it was supposed to. We’re miserable and depressed. We listen to Satan as he says, “This is what you deserve, it can’t be fixed, and you’ll have to stay in this spot on the side of the road for the rest of your life.”
“But wait!” the Holy Spirit shouts to us. “It can be fixed, it just needs to have the old fluid drained out and new, good fluid put in.” (Satan snarls.) You get it? Satan has to go so you can once again hear the Holy Spirit. Take action – ask forgiveness – and get that new fluid back in so you can get back on the right road.
Then there are the tires and wheels. Definition given – They make vehicle motion possible by way of grip and/or friction with the road. If the wheels are not balanced or aligned, they do not follow the steering guidance and guide the vehicle crookedly. Here I think of our free will. We need to keep the tires and wheels balanced and aligned so we can drive straight and on the right road, like our instructions say. Otherwise, our vehicle just won’t line up with the road correctly. What happens if our vehicle gets out of line and the tires go bad you ask? Well, if we’re smart, we take it to a mechanic and get it fixed quick, fast, and in a hurry. If not so smart, we keep driving it like that until the tires wear out sooner and/or we have a blowout.
This free will of ours must be taken care of just like the tires and wheels. It has to be pointed in the right direction. I agree, sometimes we do a little something wrong and get misaligned – take it to our Mechanic. Sometimes the tires need to be balanced – take it to our Mechanic. What if we get deflated (depressed) – take it to the Mechanic. Our lives cannot run without help from God each and every day. They will not go in the right direction, stay inflated or balanced if we don’t talk to Him every day, many times a day.
God gives us this free will – it’s a “free will.” We don’t have to listen. We don’t have to follow Him. In fact, we can turn our back to Him. We don’t have to change our ways, we can continue in our misery. He allows us to make that decision. Now, granted, tires and wheels cannot make decisions, but they can give us hints and glimpses that things are not right, they are not straight or inflated enough. Eventually when we see those tires worn so quickly, we realize we screwed up and should have read the instructions and kept them aligned and inflated properly.
God gives us a second chance, though. He nudges and whispers to us that something is terribly wrong, we’ve gone too far off the road with our free will. Our lives are not as they should be. Sometimes we’re smart and listen to Him and get everything “fixed.” Sometimes instead of listening to Him we ignore Him and continue on with what we want to do instead. He continues to speak and we keep on ignoring and plunging deeper into sin until we have a flat tire. You see, sometimes God has to bring us to the place where we will listen. He has to flatten our tires – sometimes more than once. And we ask ourselves why didn’t I listen? Why couldn’t I see this? Why was I so stupid? Why did it have to come to this place? Ever been there? I sure have. And that’s the place when God can help us. He begins inflating and aligning us so we’ll be ready to roll again.
I know a lot of this was a stretch to use a vehicle’s parts as a comparison. When it came to vehicles I realize I took some leeway in how I was describing things to make the comparisons but I thought the general idea was kind of interesting. That’s just how my mind works. However, long story short, how is your vehicle today? Are you letting the frame carry you, or are you trying to carry that heavy vehicle yourself? How about the suspension system? Are you allowing it to absorb the shocks and maintain tire contact? Is your steering system okay? Do you have the right fluid in there? Are you steering in the right direction on the right road? How about your tires and wheels? Are they doing okay? No wear and tear, inflated properly and aligned? There is a lot to taking care of a vehicle and that’s why we’re given that instruction booklet in the glove box. It takes a lot for us to stay in proper working order, as well. That’s why we are given a Bible. Is yours dusty or worn? Are you reading your instructions?
Obviously, God wants us to read and follow the instructions because He said in James 1:22-25 – But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do that it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
How are you getting along? Do you need to see the mechanic today? It just so happens He has an appointment available right now. Maybe you need to go in for a checkup and make sure everything is working properly.
By the way, did you notice there was a solution to each and every problem? But we don’t see that until we read the directions and then follow them. Too many instructions are sitting around gathering dust instead of being read.