We recently helped my brother-in-law and his family move. What can possibly go wrong on a moving day? With prayer to the God of Heaven, for us it was much less than has probably happened for others.
So how did we watch the hand of God move for us? My thoughts turn first to hearing over my brother-in-law’s phone that his wife got rear-ended by another friend’s wife who was also helping. They worked everything out together, no one got cited for it and the damage appeared to be minimal.
Later on, I was following the moving truck as we headed to the new house. This move was happening in Indiana. Ever driven the roads there? I don’t know what Indiana’s Department Of Transportation was thinking when they designed their road system, but between giving their roads numbers instead of names and making them barely wide enough for two oncoming vehicles to pass, I tend to think that alcohol was involved. So, as I was following the moving truck, I noticed that every time an oncoming vehicle approached, a friend who was driving the truck had to hug the shoulder of the road. Actually, “hugging the shoulder” in this case meant something more like “riding-the-edge-of-a-cliff-with-half-of-your-tire-hanging-off”. Really, it was probably even closer than that. More like literally becoming one with the pavement…and dirt…and grass. Or so I thought as I watched the dirt and grass that were right on the edge of the pavement grab the rear passenger tires and start pulling the back-end off the road. So much so that it was shockingly evident how quickly this was becoming a very bad situation. But he got the truck back up on the road with a minimal amount of fish-tailing–and probably some brown stains on the backside of his pants–and, upon arriving at the new house, we found that hardly anything had moved around inside the truck through the whole event.
There were a couple of other things that happened: by God putting me in the right place at the right time, I was able to prevent one of the kids from falling off the truck ramp as we unloaded (and he would have fallen hard); and on the way home, out of nowhere, a buck suddenly ran up onto the shoulder of the road–its trajectory matching that of the front end of my Avalanche–and just as suddenly as it appeared, it suddenly changed its direction of momentum and ran back off into the field it had come from (I know the use of “suddenly” is being slightly overused, but that’s what happens in a situation like that…everything is “suddenly”). It was like the guardian angels that God has promised me and my family in Psalm 91 put themselves between my truck and that buck. I’m telling you, the way that buck reacted, it was like it was being shewed away.
It may seem like an anti-climactic part of the day’s events, but there is one other rather significant occurrence that is worth noting. That morning, I was picking up donuts and getting gas in the truck. I got the donuts without incident–including all of the donuts still being present and accounted for upon arriving back home. But as I pulled into the gas station and approached the gas pump that I had in mind to use, I noticed that a black quart-sized container was lying on the pavement in front of the pump. It looked like an empty black bottle of motor oil. So I just figured that, whatever it was, the truck’s tires would either push it aside or crush it as I pulled up to the pump. What’s the big deal in crushing an empty quart container, right? I’d just throw the crushed container into the trash can when I got out.
As I slowly pulled up to the pump, I heard a very loud “POP!” and suddenly saw the pump, the brick column of the gas station, my windshield and my window all sprayed with transmission fluid. I got out of the truck and looked to the back driver’s side tire where the so-called “empty” container was still lying on the pavement–with an exploded crack in the side of it now–and red fluid all over the wheel-well, black plastic trim of the back door (it’s a four-door Avalanche) and the chrome running board bar. Red fluid slowly ran down the chrome wheel, looking every bit like someone just got shot by my back tire.
I knew that I had very little time to deal with this, so I thought I would at least try to spray it off at the carwash that was just down the street. I got there only to find that I was a quarter short of the $1.75 needed to use it. Which meant that my only option was to drive to the other end of town to the other carwash that takes debit cards so that I could get this nasty stuff off my truck. Well, that worked. Or so I thought. But instead of spending $1.75 on a manual wash, it cost me $6.00 on an automatic wash. All because I didn’t have one more quarter. And it didn’t even wash it off. All it did was smear it everywhere. (I found myself in a situation that David speaks of in Psalm 103. He tells himself, “Praise the Lord, Oh, my soul”. That’s just what I had to do. Tell myself how to handle this….challenge.)
So later that night, my wife remembered that one of the parents of the kids she watches for her daycare business also does car-detailing on the side. We told him the situation, dropped the tuck off, and later picked up a truck with no trace of transmission fluid on any of its surface! He did a great job! Here’s a picture of my “restored” externally-applied-transmission-fluid-and-buck-free truck:
God is good!!