Although it has been over two weeks since Al and I were involved in a collision in a supermarket parking lot, several aspects of that accident still amaze us. It is especially amazing that no one was hit directly even though it was busy that day, with people of all ages coming and going, walking every which way.
A woman who was trying to find a parking place happened to step on the gas pedal instead of the brake, losing control of the car. She hit two or three other vehicles before slamming into ours. Because we happened to be standing behind our car, we were knocked down by the force of the impact, but not run over.
Another thing that amazes us is that Al is still alive and well! Because he was looking through a bag of groceries for an apple instead of getting into the driver’s seat, he escaped getting hit by seconds. And then there were the injuries we sustained, just bruises and scrapes, all very minor compared to what might have been. The driver’s side of our car was damaged: however that is repairable.
According to Al, there is a low probability of a bizarre accident happening like that in a parking lot in the first place. The woman driver, in her senior years, seemed disoriented and confused when questioned about what happened. She only remembered driving around for twenty minutes looking for a place to park and said that the rest was a blur.
Well...maybe not that low of a chance. My mom was teaching me how to drive in the parking lot of Bakersfield Junior College when I accidentally stepped on the gas pedal instead of the brakes and drove over the curb into a row of Oleander bushes. With the twins, (about 3 years old) in the back seat crying and mom screaming, I was shaken up to say the least. So things like that do happen in parking lots!
I’m sure that when we get to heaven and find out about all of the horrible things the Lord protected us from, we will fall flat on our faces with thanksgiving and in awe at the greatness of His love. In the meantime, our new slogan is, “Be careful and prayerful.”
That was the favorite saying of the late Dr. E.V. Hill, pastor of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in south central Los Angeles where I worked as a summer missionary not long after the Watts riots. Before sending his three young white female missionaries off into housing projects and various neighborhoods to hold Vacation Bible School, he would remind us in his big booming voice to “Be careful AND prayerful!” It did make an impression on us!
How can Al and I be more careful when shopping? Maybe park around the side of the store or go somewhere else? But even then things can happen. That’s why it is important to be alert and prayerful too. My prayers were said in a rush that morning, if said at all. The thought of danger was far from my mind. Were others praying for us that day? If so, thank you, thank you!
There are times when vigilance and prayer don’t keep accidents, injuries or bad things from happening. Then what? Even then we can have peace as we put our trust in God and surrender to his will, whatever that might be.
Think of Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, after sharing one last meal with his disciples. Knowing that he would soon be betrayed, he prayed earnestly, his soul in anguish. Then came these words of surrender: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42 NIV)
Shortly after that prayer, Jesus was arrested, tried and crucified on a cross. Just before dying, He called out to God, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46 NIV) What resulted from His death? Resurrection! Hope! Eternal life for millions!
We don’t have to live in anxiety, wondering what is waiting for us around the next corner. The knowledge that nothing can separate us from God’s love enables us to be at peace...always!
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” Romans 8:35 NIV
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NIV
Judy Lowery lives in Michigan. The Good News column appears regularly in The Porterville Recorder. You can read more at Judy’s blog, goodnewswithjudy.blogspot.com.