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StevenPaul1953 (2)



 

  

God's Intervention

Rollover-God is in Control

 

How often have we faced hardships and problems and felt that we were all alone? We question God's sovereignty and think, where is He in all of this? While we don't always see His hand at work or understand all the reasons for the things we suffer, one thing is for sure, and that is...

God is in Control



Jeremiah 29:11 shows us just how much God loves us and that He never leaves His children abandoned or without hope. On the contrary, God distinctly says that He has a mission for our lives, and says,

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (NIV). In Hebrews 13:5 b He states, "I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down (relax My hold on you)! Assuredly not!"(Amplified).

While I don't always see God working in my life or understand everything I go through and at times battle with doubts and disbelief, the one thing I can say is, when I look back on my life, in hindsight, I realize He was always there and always will be.

The following is a true story of how God intervened in my life and on May 9th 2000, saved me from a certain death. My hope is that this story will encourage you and that you will see just how much God loves us. He is no respecter of persons and what He did for me is by no means a unique thing nor does it mean I'm someone special. I'm just an average woman, living this life, serving a Great and Mighty God.

Rollover


In order to fully understand the whole picture, I'll need to let you know where I was spiritually and let you into my world.

During this time of my life, I was working a part time job and attending school for my Associates Degree. My three children were age 2, 9 and 11 at the time. My husband and I worked split shifts in order for one of us was always home with the kids. I basically was one busy lady and dry spiritually. I remember praying and reading my Bible like a Christian is supposed to do and going to church. I was doing all the right things, but for some reason I wasn't hearing from God and I became angry towards Him. I often heard that there are times in life we walk through the wilderness and this was my wilderness experience. I understood logically I needed to be faithful and continue believing and seek God, but in my immaturity, I questioned His sovereignty and found that instead of praising Him, adoring Him and worshiping Him, I complained about how unfair it was that He was listening to others, yet (seemingly) ignored me. This feeling of abandonment continued for weeks on end until one night I had enough and decided to have it out with God. My reasoning was simple, if God conversed with Job, and wanted us to be honest with Him about everything than surely He would talk with me and in my thinking, I wasn't going to let the silence between us go on anymore. I desperately needed Him and couldn't rest until I knew He heard me (Job 38).

The night in question, I found that I couldn't sleep. I was restless. I tossed and turned until I finally got up and found myself looking out at the stars through an open window in our living room. All I could do was cry. I remember telling God that I needed Him and that my heart was in so much pain because of the circumstances that I was going through at the time. I felt utterly alone and at that moment my words of desperation and despair became words of anger. I distinctly remember waving my fist in the air towards heaven saying, "You have to answer me! Since you are God and I'm your daughter, you have to talk to me. You said you loved me so I demand you answer me." While I heard no reply, I remember I continued to weep until a peace filled my heart and I knew that God heard me. It was then that I finally fell asleep.

The next day I went about my business as usual. I didn't hear anything from God and in the evening went to my speech class at Crafton Hills College. It was here that everything changed. As students, we were asked to give a persuasive speech on whatever topic we wanted. One student in particular decided to speak on how the Bible was a "bunch of rubbish" and that people who believe in it were ignorant, weak and being brainwashed. As a Christian, those were fighting words and believe me; I was peeved to say the least, as well as the several other Christian students’ in the class. When this student finished his speech it was time for the rest of us to respond and boy did the fireworks begin. I was listening to him argue with one girl when suddenly God distinctly said within my spirit, "Don't take to heart everything he is saying, he is hurting and was wounded by people who say they know Me, but really don't."

When this thought became clear to me, I was elated. Not only did God just speak to me, but I instantly felt compassion for this student and had an overwhelming urge to write him a letter letting him know that it’s people who give God a bad name and that God is not a man that He fails like we do. He needed to know that not only does He exist, but that He saw his broken heart and wanted him to know how much He loved him. I don't remember exactly everything I wrote in that letter. I only know my pen was flying across the paper as if a fire were set to it. When I finished the letter, I sat there questioning if what I heard was really from God. Did God want me to write this letter and give it to this guy? So in class I prayed, Ok God, if this is really from you, allow me to hand it to him in such a way that it won’t look suspicious, strange or embarrass him. After class the opportunity came and I discreetly handed him the letter as we were walking out of the elevator amongst a group of irate student's from the class saying, "Please read this and know you are loved". I remember walking away feeling so close to God; I began thanking Him and praising Him as I walked to my car. I never saw this student again nor do I even remember his name.

I wish I could say the following day was just as beautiful as the one before, or that I felt particularly close to God. On the contrary it was an emotional and mentally draining day. It was one of those days that everything seemed to go wrong. I remember my husband and the kids were going to visit his mother that evening and he planned on driving me to my Psychology class and pick me up later, but due to a migraine, he ended up staying home with the kids which turned out to be a blessing beyond words. As the late afternoon wore on, before I went to school, I had an uneasy feeling building up inside me. I can only describe it as a feeling of dread or that there was something wrong. It was a restlessness, but I couldn't put my finger on exactly what it was. I kept busy all day and ended up doing things I hadn't done in a long time like washing my 1988 Volvo (which hadn't been clean in weeks) and filling up the gas tank (which I rarely did), before heading off to class.

While driving on the freeway the feeling of restlessness and dread became worse. I didn't understand what was happening in my heart or in my emotions and I began praying. It was so illogical. My mind was trying to pinpoint the reasons for my seemingly irrational feelings, yet I couldn't stop the tears from falling as I continued driving along Highway 10. I was getting close to my exit and was in the slow lane reducing my speed and remember praying out loud, "God did I sin somewhere that you're mad at me? Did I say something I shouldn't have? Please show me if I did." All I could do was pray for forgiveness for any sins that I may have committed and decided to play worship music and sing praises to God despite my feelings. Up until this point I didn't feel God's presence in any particular way, but once I began worshiping I felt Him and it was then all hell broke loose.

It happened so fast I didn't have time to see my life flash before my eyes like some people say happens to them in a close to death experience. As I was exiting the off ramp, unbeknownst to me a young driver traveling 117 MPR, trying to beat me off the exit lost control of his vehicle and slammed into my left front wheel/bumper area sending me up an embankment. My car took the full brunt of his speed pushing my car up the hillside which turned my Volvo around facing the opposite direction. At this point my car began rolling over and down the embankment. How can I possibly explain all the details so that you can understand? Several things happened in those few seconds. For one thing I didn't even see who it was that hit me. All I know is there was a white blur to my left and I heard the impact of our vehicles colliding and brakes squealing. I felt the impact of his car’s speed. It was a whipping motion like a sudden death defying turn on a roller coaster. That's when I heard a scream. It took me a moment to register that the scream I heard was my own. What happened next was internally. In that moment of time the thought came to me, You’re going to die. The next time you open your eyes, you will be standing before God in judgment. Well, let me tell you that was a horrifying thought. Yes I am a Christian. Yes I was living my life the best I could before God and man, but the thought of seeing God frightened me. I didn't feel that peace that some people say they feel when they've been serving God for years and are about to die. I didn't see any tunnel with a white light radiating from it or feel comfort or even hear dead loved ones calling me from heaven. On the contrary, the only thing I felt was absolute fear and heard my own voice screaming "No!"

In the midst of this fear, several things were taking place on the inside of me (spiritually) as well as physically. My brother died in a car accident when I was 18 years old and the thought of dying the same way flashed in my mind. I also knew more than anything I hadn’t finished doing whatever it was that God called me to do, not to mention raising my family and what about my husband? The feeling of life being short became real to me that day. While these thoughts and outright hysteria were taking place, my car began rolling and there was nothing I could do. The one thing I can say is, I was aware of rolling three times in my car, but later was told by the driver of the other car it was actually five times. At one point as my car rolled, my left hand hit and broke the driver's side window. At another point my arm went out that window in a downward motion as the car rolled and in turn rolled over my arm. I remember my arm hitting me in the face, which left blood streaks across it. The rolling motion sliced open my wrist and had a crushing effect on my arm which I didn't feel at first. My arm was completely numb up to the mid Humerus bone of my upper arm. Since I couldn't feel it I thought it was severed and hanging by a thread of flesh, but the high weeds and brush on the hillside actually cushioned it and kept it from being torn off. The way that my car turned in the opposite direction while moving up the hillside meant the passenger side of the car took the full impact of the rolling motion on the way down.

There was a point in all of this that I believed I was going to die. Like a drowning man fighting for his very last breath, I too gulped down this precious bit of air and thought, Here I go, the next thing I'll see is God himself. But what happened next was God's answer for my life. All my questionings, the weeks of despair, His silence, my struggles and pain were addressed as He intervened on my behalf and it came in the form of a still small voice. He simply said in my spirit, "It's not your time yet." Have you ever been so sure about something, that no matter what, you know, that you know, that you know? That is exactly what happened inside me. Even though I was screaming like a banshee, and even though I knew something bad happened to my arm, and when my car caught fire and I couldn't get free from my seatbelt, I knew deep within, that I was going to live. God in His mercy spoke that into my heart.

You may be wondering about the fire, well, let me explain. When my car finally stopped rolling, I found myself hanging upside down. My car landed on the off-ramps exiting lane on its roof and I was trapped. I realized as I was hanging there that my windshield was gone and the hood was all bent up in such a way it only allowed me to see about an inch or two underneath it. That's when I saw the flames and my panic and hysteria took over. I reached for my seatbelt with my good arm but in the midst of my fear I didn't realize I was reaching towards the ceiling of the car instead of by my side where the latch was. My left arm was of no use and I couldn't move it no matter how hard I tried. That's when I heard a man yell to me, "I'm going to get you out." He tried to open the driver’s door, but it wouldn't budge. No matter how hard he tried it wouldn't open. I remember pleading and begging for him to help me. As the flames grew higher my screams of panic escalated. It was a few moments later I heard this man scream, "close your eyes" and saw white smoke, which was actually a fire extinguisher being used in the engine compartment and I felt it spray into my face from under the hood. One instant I was holding my breath with my eyes shut, and the next this stranger opened the passenger door and cut me free from my seatbelt with a knife he happened to have. I was dragged out of the car by this hero and another individual who lay me down along the roadside.

The CHP came as well as the fire department and ambulance. I was taken to the nearest hospital and kept under observation for five days. They thought I may have suffered internal injuries, but I never did. As for my arm, it took nine months of going to therapy three days a week to learn how to move and use it again. The most profound thing about this incident I might add, is the fact that my hero, the man that saved my life, to this day I have never met him nor do I remember what he looked like.

It wasn't until about two years later after the accident that the full impact of this story unfolded and here it is. About 8 months prior to the accident I had a different car. I was a Mitsubishi Précis. I ended up getting it stuck in a riverbed and had to be swift water rescued (another story for another time), only to cause electrical damage in it to the point my car was worthless and I needed to obtain another one. The Volvo I bought was a 1988 wagon and at first glance it was ugly! I didn't want it, but for the reasonable price and that my dad, who was a mechanic, telling me it had a new rebuilt engine, I would've never bought it. But that day the deciding factor for me was when I saw the Jesus fish on the back bumper and knew that I was just being selfish wanting a nicer looking car. What I didn't know, until later much later was that all Volvo's come with a built in roll cage standard in all their models. Had I been in my little Précis, I surely would have perished that day. I also found out from my lawyer when he was preparing my case that had I not filled up my gas tank, it more than likely would have exploded. My case never went to trial but was settled out of court (I didn't have medical insurance at the time and sued for damages). After the case was over I sat down and read the depositions of the one witness who stayed and forensics expert’s testimony in my case. I learned some very interesting facts. For one thing, I didn't know that the man who pulled me free from my car blocked the traffic on the slow lane of the freeway by stopping a diesel truck and obtaining a fire extinguisher from him. The driver in turn lit flares which kept anyone from hitting me. The unknown man put out the flames in my car, but according to the witness who helped pull me out, when he arrived on the scene, he witnessed this man standing on my car dousing out the flames that were traveling back towards the gas tank along the fuel line. He put these flames out first before he got to the engine compartment. Remember I said I washed my car that day? What I failed to say was that it was full of junk. You know toys, shoes, trash potential hazardous flying objects. I had some tools in the back seat which I removed and placed the tire iron in the very back of the car. Just imagine what would have happened, had I not removed these things? By the way, the tire iron flew out the side back window of the car.

The whole time this incident happened, I thought there was a convoy of soldiers who stopped and helped me because I only saw one man's camouflage pants and boots, plus the 10 Highway is the main route for the military. I found out later that this was only the remaining witness that stayed and he was a civilian who liked wearing fatigues. The interesting thing is, by the time the CHP arrived as well as the fire department, my hero was gone. No one got his name, statement or anything. When my lawyer asked the remaining witness what he looked like, he couldn't answer him because he didn't know. He said his focus was on me and he didn't pay attention.

Another thing I found out later was that a member of our church who was traveling in the opposite direction that day and saw the accident. He didn't know it was me or did he really even know me, but when the accident occurred, he called his mother-in-law and asked her to pray. She happened to be a member of our church's prayer chain, and called everyone on the list to pray unknowingly for me and the other person, who by the way was a 17 year old boy in a hurry on his way to play practice at his church. He sustained no injuries. The only thing that happened to his car was the front bumper came off.

He and his father came to the hospital and visited. The young man was so remorseful there was no way I could have been mad at him. I can't explain the ways this accident happened or even guess the reasons it was allowed, but the one thing I know for sure about the whole situation is that God was in complete control. There are way too many factors; little things that happened that worked together which saved my life. Had the man who saved me not cared to stop or had a knife, stopped the diesel truck or if my family had been with me, had I not filled up my gas tank, or months prior bought this tank of a car, the outcome would have been different in every way. I honestly believe that had those things not happened the way they did there is no way I'd be here today sharing God's mercy and love with you now.

The point of this story is a simple yet a profound one and that is, if you're a child of God and you have made Jesus your Savior, you are in His sights, on his mind, loved and cherished. He has a plan for your life and is in total control. While we do struggle with fears, and doubts, when we fail and seemingly walk for weeks or even months without Him near to us, know that you know, that you know, God loves you, that He is there for you, hears you and is in control of your life. It's ok that we feel fear. We wouldn't be human if we didn't, but no matter what we go through remember He has a plan for your life and will never leave or forsake you!

 

Mood: thankful
- 1 Comments - 2 Kudos - Add comment 

  Comments
StevenPaul1953 | Sat Mar 24, 2012, 13:03

this user is offline now

What an awful accident! What a glorious Lord! Good post, thanks for sharing...

-StevenPaul


 
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