First, I want to say that I adore my husband, and I do NOT want him dead. That being said, I am still thankful for the woman that nearly killed him yesterday, and this post will explain why.
My husband is an avid angler. Translation? He loves to go fishing. We worked very hard most of our adult lives to save and scrimp so that he could finally buy the boat of his dreams - an 18' Ranger Bass boat.
Last week, he went to visit family that lives on a lake. He spent the week fishing, had his boat winterized on Friday, then packed up and began the journey home yesterday- Saturday.
As a woman with immense faith in God, I always pray a hedge of protection around him before he leaves on these trips. Last Monday, I laid hands on him and his boat and prayed, then Friday evening while the girls and I said grace at the dinner table, I prayed, "...and God, please keep him safe as he drives home tomorrow. I pray a hedge of protection around him and ask that Your angels ride shotgun."
We all chuckled a little bit about God's angels riding shotgun, but I was completely serious in that prayer!
I received a text from family in the morning telling me he was on his way home. A bit later, I moved my car out of the garage, and moved other stored items out of the way so that it was clear to park the boat inside.
In the meantime, to get ready for Thanksgiving, I made homemade cranberry jelly (irrelevant to the story, but YUM!), cleaned up the kitchen and wrote a check God told me to write to support a young woman's missionary trip to Costa Rica. I realize this seems like a random detail, but it's not. Remember this for later.
When I heard the garage door open, realizing my guy was home, I went outside to greet him and help guide him as he parked the boat. We had a quick hug and kiss, then we set about bringing his stuff in, all the while chatting and catching up on our respective weeks.
Finally, having a few minutes to sit down in a warm house, he started telling me this story:
I was just north of Gibson City on Route 47. It's a two lane, country road - one northbound lane, one southbound lane. The wind was blowing me around, making towing the boat tough. I was going just over the speed limit of 55 mph, so cars and trucks would come up behind me, have to slow down, then safely pass me in the on-coming lane.
At one point, a silver Mercedes came up behind me, slowed, then began to pass me on the left, in the southbound lane. The only problem with that was there was an on-coming car in the southbound lane, only about 300 yards away.
The silver Mercedes' driver slowly began to overtake me, but I quickly realized it wasn't going fast enough as the on-coming vehicle was now nearly on us.
The road at that point was a two lane road with only 3 feet of shoulder on both outside edges, then 18" of gravel bordered by a deep drainage ditch. I knew that I couldn't pull over too far, or the trailer would catch on the gravel, slide out into the ditch and flip over, taking the truck and me with it.
All I could imagine in these split seconds was that I was going to die. This crazy driver passing me was going to cause a head-on collision, killing the people in both cars and taking me out, too. At the very least, I thought we'd lose the truck, the boat and everything in them, even if I didn't die, or get seriously hurt.
I moved to the edge as far as I could while the Mercedes continued it's slow progress passing me, and the southbound car edged out as far as it could catching gravel, and I think, it even went into the grass at the top of the ditch.
I felt the shudder of air as all three of us converged in the same space and waited for the sound of crumpling metal.
It never came.
The Mercedes passed me, finally, and I watched in my rear view mirrors as the southbound vehicle swerved back onto the asphalt road and safely regained control.
It is completely impossible that we didn't all end up in a crash. There is no way three vehicles our size could have occupied the same space on a road that narrow without hitting each other. I don't know how we all survived unscathed.
The first thing I said was, "Thank you."
Now, I don't know if the thank you my husband spoke was to me for praying over him, or to God for keeping him safe. All I know is that he recognized God's hand in this event being a non-event.
We spoke some more about the power of prayer, God's faithfulness and how He protected my husband in that moment. My husband claimed that is was completely impossible for the vehicles to be 3-wide on a that two lane road. My response to him was, "Nothing is impossible with God."
Now you know why I am thankful for the Plainfield woman in the silver Mercedes that nearly killed my husband.
Normally, I'd end the story here, but there is more. Remember that check I told you I wrote? This morning when I awoke, I'd been writing this blog post in my head for about an hour before I had the chance to sit down and actually write.
When I sat down with my laptop and cup of coffee, I opened Facebook to take a peek. Yesterday, after writing that check and making sure it was picked up by the postal service, I messaged the young woman going on the missions trip; this was our exchange:
Look at the times. This morning, I suddenly realized that I was obediently writing out this check at the same time my husband had his non-wreck.
This is huge, and here's why. That was no small check. It was not easy for me to write that check, because it came to about half my paycheck. I'm not saying this to pat my own back; I'm saying this for you to understand that when you ask God how you can help, often times he asks you to do things that are PAINFUL. He will ask you to do things that will make you put your trust in Him.
When I prayed, I asked, "God, how much do you want me to write the missions check for?" As clear as could be, God spoke to my spirit and said, "All of it, of course." Ouch. "Okay, God. I'll write the check for all of it."
God wanted me to trust Him. God wanted to prove to me that when I am faithful in little things (trusting Him with my finances), He is faithful in the big things (keeping my husband alive). He also wanted to prove to this lovely lady that He would provide everything she needed to go and do great things in His name.
At first, when my husband told me his story, I thought the close call was to show him, again, that God is real, and He's worthy of our faith and praise.
Turns out, the message was for me and for you, too. It's a lesson in obedience. It's a lesson in faithfulness. God will never leave you, nor forsake you. God will provide for you and take care of you, but you MUST believe and put your trust in Him first.
God will never demand that you love Him. He will never demand that you have faith in Him. It's your choice.
Do you believe?
James 5:16 The Message (MSG)
16 Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.
Luke 16:10-13 The Message (MSG)
God Sees Behind Appearances
10-13 Jesus went on to make these comments:
If you’re honest in small things, you’ll be honest in big things; If you’re a crook in small things, you’ll be a crook in big things. If you’re not honest in small jobs, who will put you in charge of the store? No worker can serve two bosses: He’ll either hate the first and love the second or adore the first and despise the second. You can’t serve both God and the Bank.
When has God called you to do something painful?
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