When I feel alone, I often wonder if God is there, but as I have aged, I’ve learned that God has never left me, He will never leave me, and that He is present in every moment of my life, even in the valleys and ditches.
I remember the rainy Sunday morning in 2016 when God’s presence and protection was all over my life. I had just left my friend’s house in Sorento and was on my way to church in Staunton. I was driving down the Sorento-New Douglas Road, a few miles from where I lived, when my car started swerving out of control.
My heart was pounding and I was scared to death. I remember screaming out, “Jesus, help me!” All of a sudden, my car spun around in a circle and came to a stop in the ditch–facing back toward Sorento. I sat there stunned, unable to move and trying to think of what I should do. I tried to pick up my phone to call home, but I was shaking so bad that I couldn’t focus on what I was doing. I tried to call home, but there was no signal.
A few seconds later, a car pulled up and a couple asked if I needed help. They saw my car spin around as they were coming down the road. After turning their car around, the husband helped me get my door open and told me that I could wait inside their vehicle.
Since I couldn’t get a hold of my dad, I texted my brother, Jody, to let him know what had happened. I knew that he would get the text or at least I hoped he would. And, if he did, he would be there in a matter of minutes because he didn’t live very far from where I was.
I remember how the couple tried to keep me calm while we waited. They were on their way to visit some relatives when they saw what happened. I apologized for making them late, but the wife told me, “No problem. This is what we do. We help people.” I went on chattering (something I tend to do when I’m nervous). About five minutes later, Jody texted me back, saying he was on his way.
After my brother arrived, he had the guy help him pull my car out of the ditch. Thank God Jody is a farmer and has all the equipment and tools for such situations.
Except for the exhaust pipe being clogged with mud and extremely bent, my car didn’t look bad at all. However, my car didn’t start, so Jody parked it in a farmer’s driveway until he and my dad could pick it up later. I profusely thanked the couple for stopping to help me, and my brother told them he was thankful to them for staying with me until he got there.
On the way home, Jody told me that he was out in his shop working when he got my message. He had been getting messages all morning, and almost didn’t look at his phone when I texted, but he thought he better (and thank God he did).
God had a plan even before I called out to Him that day to save me. He put my car in the ditch at just the right angle so that I wasn't severely hurt, and so that my brother could easily pull it out of the ditch. Later, when Jody and my dad picked up the car, it started after removing the mud in the exhaust pipe.
A few days later, my car spent a few hours in the shop, but the exhaust pipe didn’t have to be replaced (Praise God!), it just needed the bent part cut off. And as for the couple, I had never met them before, nor did I see them again after that day. I would have liked to have sent them a thank you card or a gift, but I didn’t catch their names in all of the chaos.
The accident could have been much, much worse. I am so thankful for God’s love and protection that day, and every moment in my life. I still have days when I can’t feel God’s presence in my life, but I try to see His hand in everything–good or bad. There is a lesson to be learned in every single moment, even if God is just trying to get my attention. And let me tell you, He sure got my attention that day!
I’m glad He will never leave me, even when my faith falters. And remember, His word tells all of us: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 ESV