Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you prayed and believed God for something – and your prayers were answered? If you answered yes to this question, did you just KNOW it was an answer to prayer, all the while having well meaning friends or family stress that it was just a coincidence? While people will believe what they want with reference to coincidences, I’m inclined to believe in a God larger than life – who listens to the prayers of His people – and cares even about the small details of our lives.
Holding true to my character, I have a story to tell.
My black Friday was anything but normal. Today, I did not go out shopping. I have long since decided that my sanity is worth more than that! I did, however, have to leave the house. I was on my way to pick up the kids. (They were visiting family.) As I was driving, my car started acting strange. It was as if the accelerator was malfunctioning. I would push the gas pedal, and my car wouldn’t respond. The engine would rev up, but not accelerate. It’d slowly pick up speed, but it’s like the timing was off. Then, if I let my foot off the gas, it would do nothing for 2-3 seconds – then would go about slowing down. It made driving interesting, but not seemingly unsafe. I did a system check, and all systems were a go. No errors or problems detected. This was until I got about 5 minutes away from their house. I wasn’t sure what to make of it (other than my car was not cooperating) – the little wrench symbol lit up. Great, a car issue. Then, the words “CHECK TRANSMISSION” came up and glared at me. Because it was dark, and freezing outside, I opted to keep on driving.
As the drive ended, and I reached my destination, I went on with life as normal. This was until I tried to leave. I packed up the kids, and started my car. As I put the car in reverse, pressed the gas pedal, and attempted to back up, my car (parked on a hill) only wanted to move forward. I turned the car off, and back on. The error lights and transmission wording kept coming back. Lovely, I was now stranded across state lines. Not how I enjoy spending my day. We waited a while, and tried again. And again. To no avail.
It was apparent that my car was not going to cooperate on it’s own. So, we called our roadside assistance folks, and got a tow truck to come on it’s merry way. Just to make sure, we tried starting it and attempting to back up. Again, didn’t work.
In the interim, I called a couple of people to ask for a variety of advice – if people knew good mechanics in the area, if they knew where to take the car OR where to avoid taking it. Since I was unfamiliar with the city I was in, I had no idea where to turn – or who to trust. I had one phone call, however, that changed the course of history. Well, history as I knew it this evening. The tow truck was on it’s way, and I’d already asked the driver if he could tow it the rest of the way (not covered by the roadside assistance) and we’d pay the difference. Unfortunately, he couldn’t. He could not take it over state lines. He was not covered for interstate commerce. Now, this seemingly left us with just one possibility. We’d have the car towed to a local dealership, worked on and have to drive back over to get it afterwards. So, back to this history changing phone call…
As we were talking, I explained my strong desire to have my car closer to my house for repairs. I just really wanted a tow truck driver who could transport across state lines. That’d make life easier all the way around. So, I was told a story about the faith of a group of people trying to catch a flight. They were on standby, three tries, and three failures. They HAD to make their destination, and so they HAD to be on this flight. They prayed and KNEW God would go before them to prepare a way. They had the faith that, even though the airline told them there was NO WAY that they were getting on that flight, they were. Long story short, through a series of events, they got on that particular flight. God took care of them, and they made it to their destination without further delay. All I mention that story to say is that (as I was talking on the phone) I realized that God can work out situations on our behalf. Situations that seem like they have no other hope…no way out…He is able. So, right there on the phone, we prayed and asked God to help me get my car towed to a place close to home. However that needed to happen, we had faith that He would do it.
So, as I got off the phone, it was time to wait on the tow truck. As I waited, however, I had another idea. I took those moments to just sit in His presence, and listen — to be quiet before Him. I felt such peace, and such gratitude for all He’s done in my life, and all He is going to do. As I sit, I began to talk to God. I told him my desires…and that I loved Him and would trust Him regardless of the outcome. Then, as my faith grew and was strengthened right there in that moment, I was bold with my faith. I expressed the desire to be able to drive my car home myself – for my car to be fixed, as if miraculously. At first, I laughed at myself – thinking how crazy it must sound to God. But, really – who is God, that we limit Him? He’s able. I kept hearing the words – My child, I am able. So, I didn’t know what would happen, or how it would get fixed, but tried starting and making it move again. Nothing. Still, my faith remained. I wasn’t sure how God was going to work in this situation.
The tow truck driver arrived, and asked what the problem was – and what all was going on. I explained the course of the day, and what it was doing – or rather NOT doing – and filled out the necessary paperwork. As I finished telling him of my car woes, I completed the story by telling him that my car was going to respond differently this time. It would start and run, and accelerate like normal. No problem. (He was concerned, figuring out how he was going to get it out of the driveway, seeing as how I was parked on a hill (away from the road behind), that he would never get it out. So, I told him not to worry it would reverse and be fine, and that God was going to take care of me either way. I’m pretty sure he thought I was looney. I didn’t care. What followed next was nothing short of God.
He sat in the car to see what it felt like, and – lo and behold – it started fine, and as the accelerator was pushed, the engine reacted just as it should. I then checked for the error messages, and there were none. He backed the car out of the driveway and drove it to where the tow truck was parked and waiting. As a precaution, we were still going to send it on it’s merry way, and get it checked out. Then I had a gut check almost. I sat there and realized God had answered my prayer, and my car was healed. I joke, but I believe it to be true as well. Against the advice of my inlaws and the tow truck driver, I told him that I was going to drive it home. He tried to convince me that it would just react the same way again when the engine warmed up all the way. Everyone indicated the whole “best to be safe than sorry” routine. I, however, felt strongly urged to act and react in faith. So, I stood my ground, and sent him away. I got the kids packed up and, after a little while, went to start the car again. All was well.
As I drove home, I thanked God for His faithfulness. My car ran smoothly, and like nothing had ever gone wrong. It accelerated fine, and drove like it did before these issues. You may call it a coincidence. I call it God in action. Either way, I am grateful to God for keeping my family safe, and for getting us home safe, sound and in a car that works!