Facetime: God, life is scary. How can I know you’ve got my back?
I didn’t notice the smoke seeping from under the hood of my car until it drifted across my windshield.
Driving the interstate on my way to church one Wednesday night, I had one eye on the road and the other on the rearview mirror. My then three-year-old was entertaining her infant sister in the car seat beside her, and I was listening to their chatter.
Before long, however, enough smoke was coming from my engine to attract my notice.
FIRE! I thought silently, conscious of the tiny girls behind me. Images of explosive car blazes I’d seen on TV flooded my mind. Fear like birth pangs clutched hard at my gut. I’ve got to get them out! Help me, Lord!
Swerving hard to the right, I brought the car to a stop on the grassy shoulder. Cars whizzed past as I flung open first my door and then the door behind me.
”Unbuckle your seat belt,” I barked to my toddler as my fingers fumbled with the clasp anchoring her sister’s car seat. Swallowing the panic that rose like bile in my throat, I punched hard at the latch, and the buckle gave way.
Relief and fear caused me to jerk the car seat too hard, startling the baby as it slammed roughly against the doorframe. Her cry further frightened her wide-eyed sister, still struggling to unbuckle her belt.
Racing around the back of the car, I deposited my screaming infant on the grassy shoulder and turned back. My toddler’s shrill wails pierced the night as she climbed unsteadily from her seat.
”Here Sweetie,” I called, running toward her, but before her foot touched the ground, strong arms scooped her up and deposited her safely in my arms. I sank on wobbly knees and clutched her hard. Tears of relief trickled down my cheeks.
I learned later that Mike, a long-haul truck driver, had seen the smoke oozing from beneath my hood even before I had. Not wanting to frighten the children with his horn, he silently pulled in behind my car and waited for me to notice the smoke. As soon as I pulled off the interstate, he followed. Jumping from his truck, he plucked my frightened daughter from the car and handed her to me.
Within minutes, the kind truck driver determined that steam, not smoke, was erupting from my engine, and my heart slowly returned to its normal rhythm.
Mike radioed his dispatcher, who ordered a tow truck. Once he was confident we were in good hands, he tipped his hat and was gone.
Often my life seems like that car ride. I’m cruising along happily until something goes up in smoke. And while I’d prefer to skip the drama, it doesn’t always happen that way. This story provides an example of how God doesn’t promise to spare us life’s trials. He does, however, promise to care for us in the midst of them.
If my hose had split in the safety of my driveway, I never would have experienced his provision and care on the side of the interstate that night. He not only kept my children and me safe but also provided help when we needed it. We saw a living example of how God the Father cares for us.
I’m thankful that God, like my truck driver friend, has my back.
But now, this is what the LORD says …”Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior … Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you.” Isaiah 43:1-4
Content used from Hungry for God … Starving for Time – Five-Minute Devotions for Busy Women by Lori Hatcher, 2014. Used by permission. Winner of the Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award