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Totaled or Lessons from a 91 Buick

How do you determine the value of a car? I checked websites and was prompted to answer questions like these:

  • How old is the vehicle?
  • Who is the manufacturer?
  • What model?
  • What engine?
  • How many miles?
  • What condition is it in?  and even
  • What color?

I wanted to calculate the monetary value of our old Buick, the car my dad saved up to buy many years ago and later gifted to us, the car my son drove to school and work, the car that was in an accident a few weeks ago.

The insurance company has calculated the car’s value and estimated the cost to repair. Just by looking, without careful computation of the old Buick’s worth, we all reached the same conclusion: it’s totaled. The cost to repair exceeds the value of the vehicle. The old Buick will be towed to a salvage yard, where its only worth is now is in the sale of salvageable parts or as scrap metal.

What is the value of an old car? Compared to the safety of my son and his passenger–not much. When I first got the call about the accident, I didn’t care about the condition of the vehicle. I wanted to know that the people in the car were all right.

Look at the birds of the air; . . . Are you not much more valuable than they?   Matthew 6:26   NIV

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How do you determine the value of a person? If we examine ourselves, do we  see missing headlights, rusted fenders, and cracked windshields? Are there too many miles on the odometer?

Whether we are damaged from accidents or the effects of aging in the elements, we may feel we’re only fit for the junkyard. We may think we’re totaled.


But when Jesus looks at us, He sees us at our showroom best. He sees what we could be–what we were meant to be from the beginning. We are a priceless car, one so valuable that it is worth any amount to restore. Our cost to repair never exceeds our value.






Restore us, O God;
    make your face shine on us,
        that we may be saved.   Psalm 80:3   NIV

We are worth the hours and years and even a lifetime of work required to restore us. We are worth all the effort and pain poured out to save us from the junkyard.

Jesus’ love is what makes us valuable.

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Jesus said, “Today is salvation day in this home! Here he is: Zacchaeus, son of Abraham! For the Son of Man came to find and restore the lost.   Luke 19:9,10   MSG

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And someday, when the final repair is done and the last bit of chrome is polished, we’ll be ready for the wedding feast!

Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!   Revelation 19:9   NIV

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photos of 1931 Model A Ford Roadster by Barb Briggs
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