I am thinking of the story Jesus told, about the woman who lost a coin and swept her whole house, then called her friends to rejoice with her when it was found. I didn't lose anything, but feel much the same, because I paid off a bill today.
Almost two years ago, the timing belt broke on my Volvo. I was decelerating into a stop sign when it happened. I felt the engine let go and heard one of the most horrible sounds a car owner can hear: the six-cylinder equivalent of a spoon in a garbage disposal.
I was not upset. The circumstances were such that it had "God's Will" stamped all over it in inch-high letters. I was on my way to have a conversation which was inappropriate for me to have, and, although I was determined to do it, I'd prayed to God and asked Him to allow or prevent it. (Me sitting in car at intersection right after it happened: "All righty, then, I guess that would be a 'No.'") I felt protected, in spite of the circumstances: it happened on a Sunday afternoon in a quiet, safe residential area. My passenger was one of those calm, resourceful souls who dispensed a comforting hug at the right moment, then easily and quickly arranged to borrow a car. It could have been a miserable experience; he made it almost pleasant, if not for the mortal injury to my beloved Volvo. (We Volvo owners can get a bit dotty over our "bricks.")
The decision to repair vs. replace was a serious one. I went on-line and looked at cars, but the more I looked, the more I found myself gravitating to the same make, same model. I looked at used Volvos of the same vintage (one of the last rear-wheel drive models) and discovered their price range was exactly what it would cost to rebuild the engine. Rather than buy another car which I didn't know, I decided to repair my old friend.
For two years I have thrown every extra bit at that debt. This month I broke the magic number that allowed me to transfer some savings and pay off the remaining balance.
Along the way, I've not gone without a thing I truly needed. I've had enough extra for a few little treats now and then. God is kind. I just hope I've learned to cultivate a quiet and teachable spirit, so that He doesn't have to take such drastic measures in future to keep me from doing something stupid!