The corner of my eye caught a pick-up truck being slung off the spaghetti loop exit to the road right in front of me. It started fishtailing. The slick roads provided no traction as it wavered uncontrollably between its lane and mine. I tapped on the breaks to avoid hitting the truck, only to find my car mimicking the vicious pattern.
The truck somehow gained control right in front of me and drove off, but it was too late for me. My little red car spun of control—backwards, forwards, across both lanes, and finally rammed into the guard rail under an overpass. The airbags deployed, stuff flew everywhere. When the car finally stopped spinning, I sat in shock.
What happened? Was I hurt? Why was I still in the middle of the road? Surely other cars would run into me. Where was my phone? How would I get home on my own?
It was Good Friday.
The smell of car fluids mixing, burnt metal, and fear reminded me I needed to escape the vehicle quickly. Somehow I found my phone buried beneath piles of thrown luggage. I shoved on the door until it opened about 5 inches, enough for me to squeeze out. At this point, I had no idea how bad the damage was.
I quickly scampered across the highway and stood on the side of the road. If I hadn’t been in shock, I would have cried. My car was destroyed.
But then another realization washed over me. I was fine! I felt no broken bones, concussions, cuts, or sprains. Just about this time I realized there were people standing beside me on the side of the road.
“Oh my, does anyone know where the driver of the car is? They must be really hurt!”
“Yeah, that car is totaled for sure.”
I timidly spoke up, “Actually, I’m the driver.”
They all looked at me with wide eyes and barraged me with questions about my health. I remained on the scene until the police came to report the accident. No one else was hurt.
A nice couple took me to get food while my mom drove the three hours to come pick me up.
That day contained one of the most feared situations I could imagine, yet I wouldn’t peg it as the scariest day of my life. Instead, on that day, I experienced God’s protection tangibly for the first time.
Fast forward almost two years.
I’m driving to the Nashville airport from my house and it had been snowing the whole morning. The roads had been mostly manageable until I turned onto the second highway. It was snowing again and I could see the icy snow dancing across the road taunting tire treads to give way. My heart rate was spiked and my speed way below the limit. I gripped the wheel as if it was my life saver as I carefully navigated the roads.
As I came upon an exit, a pick-up truck was being slung off the exit right in front of me. The slick roads provided no traction as it wavered uncontrollably between its lane and mine. I tapped on the breaks to avoid hitting the truck. This time, my car remained under control. The truck spun out across the highway and rammed into the guard rail right beside me. My car kept going. I sat in shock as the mile markers kept passing.
What just happened? Should I go back? The paralyzing realization of the slick roads and a calm assurance probed me to be still and keep going (seems like an oxymoron, right?)
The rest of the drive I sat in awe of God’s protection. Here’s what I realized:
God will not always prevent bad things from happening. But He is with us even when they do. We cannot always escape the world and its brokenness, but we can listen and learn from tragedy to fall more intimately in love and in trust with our faithful Lord and Savior.
And when He does spare us, that is cause for celebration!
God used my day on the slick roads to show me in a new, yet repeated, way (another oxymoron) that the occurrence of my wreck didn’t mean He didn’t have the power to stop it, but rather that He wanted to teach me something through it.
Our God has the power to heal, protect, and provide. There is NO question about that! However, God may know that the healing, protection, and provision you need is different from your own idea of it.
Trust Him in the good, trust Him in the bad. Know that today you serve a Savior who has already defeated death and the grave. That, my friends, is cause for celebration!