When I brought our van in for its 6,000-mile tire rotation and alignment last week, I was shocked and disappointed to learn that I actually needed to buy new tires. You see, the supposed guarantee of the tires we bought a few years ago was 70,000 miles. Yet, at only 36,000 miles in, they were worn and needed to be replaced.
Sure, the warranty and expectation of 70,000 miles is for “perfect conditions,” but surely they should not be wearing out more than 30,000 miles sooner than warrantied!
When I was given the bad news and proceeded to ask what the deal was since I bought these expensive tires from the same place I was visiting, I was asked a series of questions…
“Have you rotated and aligned the tires regularly? Oh, I see here in our computer that you certainly have – every 6,000 miles like you’re supposed to.” Yep.
“Do you live on a gravel road?” No.
“Maybe you drive kind of rough.” No, this is a minivan, and my wife usually drives it. She drives like an old lady (safely, slowly, and cautiously).
“Maybe there was something off on the alignment. Oh, nope, I see that the alignments have been done twice per year, and the tires are worn evenly.” Yeah.
“I don’t know what to tell you, Mr. Drake. This really doesn’t make any sense.” No, unless these supposed 70,000-mile tires are a scam.
Well, thankfully I received somewhat of a discount on new tires, but new tires are indeed what I purchased that day. What’s guaranteed? Another “70,000 miles“? Yeah, but I have certainly learned my lesson not to put too much hope in such guarantees. Really, it is not guaranteed but rather a claim, and the claim appears to be according to a dream-scenario, at best.
What is guaranteed, though?
What if the mileage rate on tires was actually according to normal driving conditions that the vast majority of drivers face, rather than ideal driving conditions that probably no drivers face? That would certainly be more practical and helpful, but I suppose it would not sell as many tires.
What is an expected warranty, though, if based on unreal conditions? What is guaranteed?
On Sunday morning, Lord willing, I will be preaching from Zechariah 4 on what it looks like to be “Renewed and Strong.” While life is full of supposed guarantees and warranties and promises and claims, rarely can we be certain such expectations will be fulfilled. Yet, our Creator makes promises that are impossible (for us), and He never fails. Strength in Him truly is guaranteed.
“‘Not by strength or by might, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of Hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).
Like our tires, many things are going to let us down in this life. We are going to let ourselves down, especially when we rely on our own strength and might. God, though, will never let us down. He is always faithful, always sure, always right, and always true. He never fails. His strength is guaranteed.
If we were to only drive our van perfectly on a perfectly maintained track, we would probably get those 70,000 miles out of those tires. We do not drive perfectly, though, and Missouri roads (like most roads) are far from a perfectly maintained track.
How similar is this for our lives, too?! The world around us is far from perfect, and we are far from perfect. We do not live perfectly, and our environment does not function perfectly.
Jesus Christ is the Only One who lived a perfect life. As the Son of Man, He fulfilled the perfect law of God and took the punishment our sins deserve by dying on the cross in our place. As the eternal Son of God, He then rose from the dead and defeated sin and death for all of eternity. Now, everyone who calls on His name is not only saved from sin and death but is also renewed and strong now. Still far from perfect, we can find great hope and assurance in Him, though, if we simply turn to and follow Him.
Are you renewed and strong in the Lord?