“What the he_ _ were you thinking?” It was the man who had just hit my car in the passenger door. There were two other people in his car that were unhurt. He had bounded out of his car quickly to give me his message. “You are in big trouble!”, he stated. I tried to apologize but he was hearing none of it. “You are in big trouble!”, he repeated. I tried to approach him but one of his passengers told me I had better just stay where I was. It was an unspoken threat that the driver had a temper and might attack me if I came closer. All of a sudden the driver as if on Que grabbed his neck. “Oh my neck”, he hollered for everyone there to hear.
I was so shook up I couldn’t hardly think. The glaring question he had asked was still ringing in my head. “What the He_ _ was I thinking?” Then the answer came to me. I was thinking the road was clear. I was not able to see. I had made the best decision I could under the circumstances. I was not a complete moron trying to kill myself like the driver obviously believed.
It was a normal morning in every way that day. I got up and did all my normal morning routines before work. Even the beginning drive was perfectly normal. The only thing different was the bright sunshine. I questioned in my mind going back to get sunglasses but dismissed the thought as time consuming. Pulling onto the main road the sun was so blinding it was hard to see. Normally I just travel a little ways on the main road and then cut through a neighborhood to the left as a short cut. This day’s plan would follow the same logic. The sun was still blinding me as I eased into the turning lane. It was so bright that I could hardly see in front of me. Looking back I wish I would have thought twice about taking the short cut. Blindly I eased into the turn lane.
Like I had done thousands of times before I looked to see the on coming traffic. With the blinding light in my eyes I made the decision that the way was clear. I started my turn and right away I knew it was a mistake. A horn sounded and squealing brakes let me know I wasn’t safe. Then I heard the crash. It was a loud thud and I found myself getting thrown to the other side of the car. Even with my seat belt on it was quite a jar. The first thing I noticed was the wind shield shattering and glass from the passenger side window flying at me. I also was pushed unmercifully into the steering wheel. My car which was hit in the intersection ended up on the other side of the road I was turning on against the curb. A quick assessment of my body told me that I was shook up but not seriously hurt.
As I was waiting there beside my car I heard sirens as emergency vehicles were heading our way. Someone walked up beside me and tapped me on the shoulder. It was my neighbor from across the street who had mercifully stopped to see if I was alright. He offered his phone for my use and I took hm up on it since my phone was not recharged. I called my work and my wife and then talked to the policeman who showed up. The ambulance driver wanted to know if I needed attention. I thought I was OK but had him check my ribs since they were a little sore from the impact into the steering wheel. It was determined that there was nothing broken. The tow truck came and took my car away. The ambulance took the other driver to the hospital as he was quick to jump on the cot. The policeman gave me the ticket and explained what I could do if I wanted to dispute it. He took control of the situation and was very professional and friendly.
My wife picked me up and took me home. There was glass inside my shoes, in my pants, in my shirt, everywhere there was little pieces of glass. I called my pastor and told him what happened. He asked me if I had forgiven myself? I told him with tears in my eyes that I did. He prayed for me and the situation. I am so thankful that there are people that really care about me. He told me that this morning when he woke up he felt in his spirit that something just wasn’t quite right. Just the night before in our Bible study on 1- John we talked about forgiving ourselves. We know that God will forgive if we ask but the hardest thing it seems is to forgive ourselves. I can truly tell you that the more we re-live moments in our lives the more we are apt to put the blame on ourselves. My message to you is not to do this. It is the work of the enemy to bring you down so don’t let him. It was comforting talking to my pastor and feeling a peace about the whole situation that everything would be alright.
My son came by and the three of us went to where my car was. It was decided that my car was beyond repair and our job was to clear everything out of it. The fact that I had accumulated many things in the trunk made it a harder job, but with the three of us we recovered what we could and threw the rest away. Re-visiting the car was a sad and glad experience. Seeing it in such a bad condition hurt me but also made me realize how lucky I was. That car was a symbol of Jesus to me. It didn’t deserve to be broken but through that brokenness it had protected me. Now I am alive because it took the punishment instead of me.
The next few days would be filled with trying to find another car and salvaging the old car. We went to a car dealer and they could sense that we wanted to buy something quickly. They asked for our price range and naturally gravitated to the upper end of what we were willing to pay. We test drove one of their cars and when we brought it back the squeeze play was on. The original lady had introduced us to her manager and now they were working as a team. We just didn’t feel right about the car and wanted to see more. Unfortunately the one we were shown was the only one in our price range and they were determined to see us buy it. The more they put the pressure on the more it just didn’t feel like the car that we were supposed to buy. I have learned that in everything it is a good idea to pray. Pray that we are doing what is best in God’s eyes. When we live by faith we’ve found that the right decisions are made because we are not leaning on our own understanding. Proverbs 3:5-6 states to “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.”
A few days later we drove out of town to look at a car that was similar to my last one. Although the mileage was great the car’s body was a disappointment. Finally we test drove another car and it just felt right! We had prayed for God’s guidance and he seemed to be giving it to us! We liked everything about the car and ended up buying it! Step one was complete and now we turned our attention to step two. That would be salvaging the old car.
I spent a lot of time calling different junk yards and the like. I was very disappointed in the offers I was getting. Finally I got a hold of one that was a national company. Their price far exceeded anything I was offered and I agreed to sell it to them. We set a date and time that they would meet me and complete the deal. The man showed up with his tow truck to take the car away. We started a friendly conversation and I asked him a question that I never would have asked had it not been for the Soul Winning class we had recently went through. The man was named Kevin and I asked him if he had ever considered becoming a Christian. He dismissed it right off the bat although he mentioned that a good friend had been talking to him about it. I asked him if he would mind if I prayed with him and he seemed doubtful. A minute later he turned to me and said “OK, after I get this car loaded I will pray with you!” The three of us held hands and I had him repeat the sinners prayer after me. It was an amazing thing standing in a parking lot sharing the Lord and realizing that God was entering into another life!
Going back to our car I had a tremendous feeling of peace. I was amazed at what had just happened. I shook my head in amazement and thought a wonderful thought. “Lord there you go again! You’ve used something that seemed bad and made it into something very good! You have brought someone that I never would have met into my life and into your kingdom! This whole experience reinforced something that is so real to me. If we let go and let God he will do amazing things in our lives. He will take whatever the situation we are going through and use it for his glory! I am reminded of that scripture in I Thessalonians 5:18. It states “Be thankful in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Another scripture that comes to mind is Romans 8:28. 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. Lord, thank you for my accident. Thank you that Kevin came to know you as his personal savior! I am humbled by your perfect plan for our lives even when our world seems to be crashing. Thank you for always loving me!
There is a footnote to this story. Recently I did go before a judge like the policeman offered. I was hoping that he would show compassion on me in light of the situation. It was kind of intimidating standing there telling my side of the story. I can humbly tell you that he did show compassion. It reminded me of how our loving God has mercy for all of us. We have all made mistakes and God is quick to forgive if we just ask. So let me offer this prayer on your behalf. Lord, whatever my reader is going through in their life let them know that you are with them. You are there to protect them and make everything work out for good. Let them know that after their world seems to be crashing all around them there is hope, love, and compassion because you love them. Give them peace and victory because you offer them accident forgiveness.