Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Praise God - Rescued from a Ditch!

I'm very excited and thankful to be home typing this... I had to be rescued from a ditch in the big snowstorm this evening. This is in the category of "could have been much worse!" I was in the middle of nowhere, heading towards a friend's house, in the freezing cold. Someone was racing up behind me and I knew I would need to slow down and start looking for the house number before long. I pulled over to let this guy pass, to the shoulder of the road. Um, there was no shoulder. It was a ditch, a large ditch, filled with 4-5 feet of snow. The minivan ended up at about a 40 degree angle, and there was no getting out. My first thought, to be honest, was "Oh crap!! This is not good!"  The driver who passed just kept on going.

My second thought surprised me. The first is was my natural reaction. The second was not. It was "This is not a random accident, so Lord, what are you looking to teach me here?" (Again, this is not the normal response for me!)  I look up, and it turns out I'm directly across the street from my friends house. Immediately, a pick-up truck pulls up, a guy makes a cell phone call, then hops out and puts on a yellow vest. He introduced himself as Taylor, and emergency responder and volunteer firefighter. He took a good luck at the situation and says "You're never going to get that out by pushing, would you like me to call a wrecker for you?"  Um... yeah! He does that, lets them know where I'm at and says he'll call it in to the sheriff/police as well - told me to put on the hazards and go ahead inside to my friend's house, as it will be an hour before they get there.

I go inside, shaken but glad to be warm, and am greeted by friends, hot pizza, and warm brownies. We had our meeting, which went about two hours. A police car came by and sat there quite a while with lights on to make sure nothing hit the van; he was quite friendly. A random person driving by, who didn't know me or the homeowners, came up to the door and asked if we needed any help (!). The tow truck came, and they worked on it. The first tow truck wasn't able to get it out, they called in a second, and worked on it for over and hour and a half. The very minute we finished and got up from the table, there was a knock on the door. The van was safely extracted and my friend's wife got it turned around in the driveway and handed me the keys with a smile. The charge for this was far less than I expected. (When's the last time you felt like you underpaid for car troubles??)

So I'm very thankful to have gotten off so easy! Slightly different timing or location, or turning about five more degrees, and that could have been a horrible nightmare. What makes me even more thankful? The tie-in to my 'second' response (Lord, what are you trying to teach me here?) Why was I at his house, and what were we doing? Talking/dreaming about a building project despite one of the worst recessions in our lifetime, praying about what God wanted to do in our city to share His love with people who don't yet know Him, and had some concerns about if we had the resources for it. Driving home I had an answer to my question that was crystal clear: "Hard times and tough circumstances don't surprise me. I can and do use rough times to bring about good. You do exactly what you did tonight - trust in me, go about doing the things I want you to do and focus on the things I want you to focus on, count the cost, but I will handle all the rest. I have resources beyond your imagination or your need, and I arrange circumstances in ways far beyond your comprehension. I've shown you in a very small way tonight that you can trust Me even when things don't look good. Trust Me in bigger things, as long as you're looking to do them for My glory and to serve those I love - and I will be with you always!"

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