God has blessed me in many ways in my life, but there is one time in particular which has meant more than any other with the exception of my salvation. Here is what happened:
On July 24, 1997, I took a liesurely, 6 hour trip from Cookeville, TN to Greenville, SC in order to take part in my friend's wedding. Because Interstate 40 was closed around the Tennessee-North Carolina state line, I chose to go over the Appalachian Mountains via U.S. 441. Then, once I got into North Carolina, I worked my way back to the interstate and continued along my normal path.
Later that evening, my friend and I followed the bride-to-be and her mother up the interstate to Spartanburg, SC. We went through rain which was heavy enough to force a majority of vehicles to stop along the shoulder. However, we made it safely through the rain and to the exit where we were planning to turn around and head home. We had to stop at the traffic light at the top of the deceleration lane. As we turned and started to move again, my friend and I heard a flapping noise. There was a gas station to our immediate right, and so we pulled into the parking lot. The air pump was at the entrance, so we didn't have to travel long on the wounded wheel. And even though it was night, the gas station had some very bright lights which lit up the appropriate side of the car quite well. We easily changed the tire, which was in bad shape, and returned home. I had all four tires replaced the next morning.
This was a simple, pointless story, right? After all, across the country, I'm sure that there are people who get flat tires every day. But as I had time to think during that night and the next day, I realized just how much God had done for me. You see, what had caused my tire to get a hole was that my front end was out of alignment and had been for some time. So on the insides of both of the front tires, an inch wide strip had been slowly worn away. On the tire that failed, the strip was so thin that it felt like a rubber party balloon when I pressed my finger into it. The hole was about an inch long and a half inch wide. There was no way to tell what actually poked the hole; it could easily have been something as simple as a dull rock. But the point is this; while I was driving for 6 hours earlier that day, the tires were already in the condition which caused them to fail. And at times I was traveling at interstate speeds; at other times, I was curving through the mountains, just a foot away from a steep drop. There is no practical reason why the tire did not bust at some point along that trip. Instead, I was stopped at a traffic light with a gas station right beside me. And thinking back, I had prayed to God for safety, as I always do at the beginning of a trip. Now, if I had been going fast, or had been turning around a curve when the tire had blown, there is a VERY good chance that I would not be alive to write this right now.
Now, I suppose you could argue that it was pure luck. But if you are stubborn enough to believe that everything is controlled by luck and not God, then I would suggest that I've had far more than my share of "luck" in life. And I assure you that this incident with the tire was drastic enough that I can EASILY give praise to God for the rest of my life because he has literally saved my life. I know, beyond any doubt, that God's hands kept me safe on that day. And I know, that because I have given my life to Jesus Christ, I will always be safe in His hands. If you are interested in having a personal relationship with God, and you don't have one right now, may I suggest that you browse through our online tract on eternal life. God has changed my life forever; why won't you let Him change your life.
August 19, 1997
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