Thank You For This Wreck by Larry W Peebles May 20, 2016 16.18
I sideswiped the car next to me. I knew it from the sound and feel of the metal crunching. I had no idea how it happened, or where the other car came from. When both cars had stopped safely out of the flow of traffic, a quick check of all parties involved revealed no one was hurt. I was so thankful for that, but I still could not believe what had just happened.
Thinking it through later, I realized I was sitting in the far right lane at a light at the foot of a bridge. My plan was to go over the bridge and execute a right turn immediately at the bottom of the other side. What I did not know was that on that bridge a lane had been added on the right. A sports car behind me pulled beside me in that added lane as I attempted to turn right. Some metal got bent and scraped, no one was hurt, and I felt very foolish and embarrassed.
This accident occurred at the end of one of the most intense ten day periods of my life. Candidly, I was probably preoccupied with what had happened over the previous ten days to the point that I did not see the additional lane or the car coming up on my right side.
The story began a week and a half earlier when I received a call at my home in Florida that my elderly Dad in Texas was not doing well. My brother had called an ambulance to take him to the hospital. I slept very little that night, and caught the first plane early the next morning to be with him. After a few days at the hospital, I learned that his medical condition was very serious. He would not be released from the hospital to go back home. Rather, he would need to go to a skilled nursing facility for constant care. I immediately began the research to find the best care possible, and to understand how to handle the expense for such care. A few days after I arrived, and while Dad was still in the hospital, my elderly mother fell at home. She was also taken by ambulance to that same hospital. The fall did not injure her, but it was the result of a very serious medical condition. Now both were in the hospital, and their medical future was very uncertain. I was staying at their home, sleeping very little, and rising early each morning to read my Bible, pray, and ask God for wisdom and direction for the day. I needed help to navigate the deluge in the world of doctors, hospitals, skilled care facilities, medical insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid on behalf of my parents. In the storm, He was the rock on which I anchored every morning.
Each day God answered those prayers. He led me to a very new and clean skilled care facility. They had an open bed, and agreed to take Dad under their care. After signing the papers, but before Dad was transferred to the facility, I received the diagnosis for Mom. Her medical condition required that she also go into a skilled care facility for constant care. I checked back with the facility to learn they had one double occupancy room, and could take both Mom and Dad. After talking it through with Mom, Dad and the rest of the family, I signed the papers admitting them both into the same room at the skilled care facility. This would ensure the best possible care and safety for them at this very critical time. I was so thankful to God for working this out. I had no idea what I was doing, but He did. He led me every step of the way on this medical and emotional roller coaster. His solution was perfect, and we had a plan on how to manage the expenses.
Dad transferred to the facility first. We set up the room with his clothes and enough personal things from home to make it feel welcoming to him. Mom followed upon her release from the hospital. It was on a trip to take her clothes and personal things to the skilled care facility that the car accident happened.
How could this happen? God and I were on a roll. We were so close. Every morning I would lay out the challenges ahead for the day, and He would walk me through the solutions. We had ended on the perfect solution. After over seventy years of marriage, Mom and Dad would go through this medical crisis together, even in the same room. If it signaled the end of their lives, at least they would still be together. How could this accident mar the miraculous ending of such an intense ten day period where God had been in total control of the outcome?
I called the police to investigate the accident. It was not long before I heard the sound of sirens coming, but to my amazement, the police and fire truck sped by and kept going. After waiting a long while, I called the police again. They apologized for the inconvenience, and said they would get someone to me as soon as possible. Another long wait followed before two officers finally arrived at our accident. The first officer apologized profusely, said it had been a quiet afternoon in this small city until two accident calls came in at the same time. Moments after they received my call, another call came in for a much more serious accident just two blocks beyond ours. A drunk driver had run through an intersection, left the road, and plowed into a building. There were very serious injuries that required immediate attention.
The officers quickly did their work, talking to both drivers, taking pictures of the damage, and interviewing eye witnesses. I did not receive a citation, but was deemed at fault and informed my insurance would be required to cover all damages to both vehicles. I agreed, and we were on our way to get Mom’s things to her new room before she arrived.
I resigned myself to not let this accident ruin what God had already done. I rationalized that even if the devil finally scored a point, the game had ended in a complete rout. I would not be upset. It was then the Lord spoke very clearly to me something I shall never forget. He said “You may thank me for the accident you were in.” I instantly realized what He meant. If I had not had the accident, I would have gone up the street another two blocks and would have gone through the same intersection at the same time the drunk driver had plowed through. He could have hit me broad side and knocked me into that building. The devil had not scored at all; rather, this was a continuation of God’s perfect help and protection over the ten day period. This was another answer to my daily prayer for His help and intervention.
When our lives, jobs, families, finances or health look like a wreck, can we still trust God? When cares of the world are coming at us in a deluge, like a drink from a fire hose, can we remain at peace under His protection? When things seem to suddenly turn against us, do we continue to believe He is looking out for us with our best interests in mind? Consider these scriptures:
Psalm 29:10, 11- “The Lord sits enthroned over the deluge; the Lord is enthroned as King forever. The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.”
Romans 8:28- “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
2 Chronicles 16:9- “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong on behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.”
Psalm 20:7- “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
Proverbs 3:5, 6- “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your path straight.”
Isaiah 26:3- “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
Nahum 1:7- “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.”
Psalm 91:1, 2- “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’”
If we believe that God loves us, and is in control, can we thank Him for the wreck?