The car saga continues... I'm still having issues with it. It's a tight spot to be in financially... but I'm definitely not alone in that. I don't think I've spoken to anyone in my church who isn't going through some sort of financial tight spot... some very serious. Many are accompanied by significant health issues, family issues, or other complications.
It's still a little "weird" to me to have an open, honest conversation with other Christians about this stuff. There's a significant part of me that still feels the need to hide the struggles... that it's not possible to be a good Christian (or at least one with any amount of faith) if you're struggling with these things. In the "name it and claim it" economy, if you talk about your problems, you'll just get more problems. If you keep your mouth shut and just talk positive, you'll get the positive.
The problem with this way of thinking is that it tends to isolate people. How can we comfort one another with the comfort we have received if can never admit that we need to be comforted? How can we bear one another's burdens if we don't know that someone has a burden?
Over the weekend I had an opportunity to hear someone share about the struggles their family was experiencing, and I was able to share how I had also been going through some difficult times. There were no profound answers, no supernatural reassurances that everything would be OK... but there was strength in knowing that we were two believers who could pray for eachother. When I left, my car was not supernaturally repaired. The money to repair or replace it didn't supernaturally show up in my mailbox. But I'm richer today because that relationship is stronger than it ever could have been if we had both just smiled and pretended that nothing was wrong.