Friday, January 6, 2012

Two Gallons of Antifreeze

                “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
                                                                Philippians 4:19 (KJV)

One day, Mom, Zachary, and I made the 45 or so mile trip from our home to pick up the leftover bread from our homeschool support group’s bread ministry.  They are kind enough to give us the leftovers so we can distribute them to anyone in our area that may need them.  On our way home, I noticed the engine temperature hand approaching a dangerous level, so I pulled off to the side of the interstate to let it cool off.  It was a very hot, humid day, and needless to say, all three of us were miserable in the heat, with a trunk and backseat loaded with bread!  We waited until I felt it was cool enough to make it to the next exit, where I planned to pull off and try to figure out the best thing to do.  We made it to the exit, and I drove several miles, before the gauge approached the danger point again.

I found a safe spot and pulled off the road to try to collect my thoughts.  At that point, we were probably about 35-40 miles from home, and I didn’t know how on earth we would ever make it.  Kevin was at work many miles away, and I didn’t want to burden him with knowing we were in distress.  I lifted the hood and saw that we were completely out of water/antifreeze.  After a few minutes, I noticed a van pulling a trailer slow down and look our way.  Soon, the van had turned around and pulled in next to us.  It turned out they were a husband and wife lawn maintenance team who were on their way home from a long, hard day of work in the summer heat.  They got out of their van very tired, hot, and drained….to me they looked like angels sent straight from Heaven.

It turned out, the man knew exactly what to do.  He saw the problem, and walked over to his van.  A few seconds later, he returned with a jug of antifreeze in his hand!  He stood and worked and waited with us until he felt we were safe to drive, at least for a little while.   His wife comforted Mom and Zachary during the wait, and we all enjoyed becoming acquainted.  They must have stayed with us for at least 30-45 minutes.  They were intent on making sure we got home safe, and the man even gave us his phone number and told me to call him if we broke down on the way home.  He said he would come and tow our car the rest of the way home, if need be! 

These were complete strangers…I had never seen them before, and I’ve never seen them again.  Before they left, we tried very hard to give them some money to pay for their trouble...and the antifreeze…they wouldn’t hear of it.  They seemed offended that we would even offer, and the only thing we could convince them to accept was a few loaves of the wonderful bread that had been donated.  Was it coincidence that God led me to drive all the way to that particular place and stop?  Was it happenstance that they came by right at the exact time we were there?  I think not.

Another time, we were driving our other vehicle and were in West Virginia visiting Mom and Dad Smith.  Mom S., Zachary, and I had gone shopping, and on our way home, we stopped at the grocery store to buy something for supper.  Mom S. told me she would only be a few minutes and knew exactly what she needed to buy, so I dropped her and Zachary off and went to find a parking space and wait for them in the car.  On the way to the parking spot, I noticed smoke coming out from under the hood and knew that meant trouble.  I raised the hood and tried to figure out what to do.  Again, I could see that the problem was that we were low on antifreeze/water.  We were a long way from their home, and again, I found myself wondering and trusting God as to what I should do.

Soon, I heard a car pull up beside ours, and a man got out to ask if he could help.  I told him of my trouble, and he walked back to his car and handed me…can you guess?  His very own jug of antifreeze!  He told me he worked in an office nearby and told me if I had any more trouble to come and let him know.  Again, I tried to pay him, and he wouldn’t hear of it.  We told each other “God bless you”, and off he went.  Another angel in disguise sent to meet my need.  Coincidence?  Or divine appointment?

I believe with all my heart that God never takes His eye off His children.  I have learned that He always comes through, and many times, it is through people we have never met.  He holds us in the palm of His hand, and when we have trouble, He notices.  He knows at all times exactly what we need, and He will place people in our paths that can and are willing to…fill that need.  How many people were carrying extra gallons of antifreeze int their vehicles on both of the days I needed them?  I don’t know, but I do know God saw two people who had what I needed, and He allowed our mishaps with the vehicles to happen in places that would cause their path to cross mine.  And He dealt with the hearts of two strangers to pass along their antifreeze to me when I needed it.

I don’t take things like that lightly.  I take things like that as tokens of God’s divine love for me.  I believe He will meet every, single need we have, and He will never let us down.  There are many other stories I could tell from personal experience that would prove my belief in the existence and caring heart of Almighty God.  Maybe I’ll share them…on other days, as He leads and brings them to my remembrance.  J

How about you?  How many times have you been stranded or in need or depressed….and God sent along the help or encouragement you needed….right when you needed it most?  Think about it.  It was never a coincidence.  It was always divine intervention…on the part of a God in Heaven who loves you SO much.  He loves you so much that you are still alive today.  You have survived everything life has brought your way so far.  You’re still standing.  And though you may not have every single wish in your heart, you have enough.  That isn’t an accident, my friend.  It isn’t luck, chance, or a twist of fate.  It is God.  There is just no other explanation.

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