The wipers kept a rhythmic beat against the September rain that gathered relentlessly on my windshield. The rain didn't bother me, though--I was grateful for the more leisurely pace of a Saturday morning as I drove down Highway 400 towards the city.
Casually I glanced over to my right, and noticed with curiosity a silver van whose license plate had only three letters: N-U-H.
"NUH," I thought to myself, turning the letters over in my mind, while considering their possible significance. A friend to whom I was telling this story later, guessed at, "Nothing Under Heaven;" someone else might think they represented: , but to me at that moment, they rhymed with Gnu, a slope-backed type of antelope, and therefore were pronounced, "New."
"New," I said to myself..."I'm new," or "I'm new here," trying out various possibilities.
It made me think of my own life, and how new I am in some ways lately--"new" because I finally gave up endless efforts to make myself over, and asked for heavenly help. "I want to do this," I said to God, naming my struggle, "but I've tried so many times and failed--would you please help me?" And then I tried going into each day with my part being the "wanting to," and his part being the "helping me to." A hand-in-hand kind of thing.
This "partnership" worked so well in the first area in which I tried it, that I added another, then another, as transformations continued, while trusting for ongoing help in maintaining the earlier ones. I decided to keep a special journal in a small oblong, pink book, tied closed with ribbons, and into its pages I have confided my struggles and how God has answered my prayers for help.
As I was contemplating this I looked to my right again, at a sporty beige car with a soft brown roof. I was close enough to see the driver, a heavy-set man with a mustache and dark brown hair. The license plate of his car read, IDID8MWY--I am not kidding: "I did it my way."
Today I opened my bible to Isaiah 30 and I saw that at some long-ago point I had drawn a big set of brackets around verses 15-19. I'm putting a link to the passage here. It really is profoundly confirming. In it God is reaching out to people determined to do it their way, while all along he waits to show grace and give help, if only they would rest from the futility of human effort.
I don't think I'll run out of areas that I need God's help in conquering anytime soon. My pink book will fill up and I will continue in another, but I pray that the pages will be a continued testament to what God can do if only we give up and give it to him sincerely.