This is a picture of my family in a van traveling to Florida. Before we left home, we all held hands and asked God for His divine protection. We asked for each of our angels to be with us. We asked Him to put a hedge around us, just as He did Job (Job 1:10). We asked for a safe trip…a safe stay and a safe return home.
As we left Memphis at mid night we traveled safely through the night on schedule. I drove the entire time. Around midday we crossed over the Georgia/Florida county line and made a last stop for gas and get something to eat.
We were then on our last stretch of the trip.
As I drove down I-75 near Gainesville, I was in the fast lane of a three- lane stretch of highway. The interstate was extremely busy because this was the Friday before Christmas. Every lane was full of cars and trucks…BIG TRUCKS.
Suddenly, immediately in front of our van a huge cloud of smoke appeared. As I drive into it I discovered that not only could I NOT see the cars around me, I couldn’t see 1 inch in front of us. I couldn’t even see the windshield wipers!
I expected to hear vehicles crashing around me any moment. My wife told me to stop the van, and everyone was bracing themselves.
As she told me to stop the van, I calmly replied, “No”, but did stop accelerating as I eased over onto the shoulder of the road with only a small guard rail separating the oncoming traffic on the other side, hoping and praying not to slam into a wrecked or stopped car in front of me, while also praying that a car or truck didn’t slam into the back of us.
All I could think about is the multi-car pile-ups I have seen in white-out snow or blinding fog. Everyone in the car wondered if this was the day we were going to die or be severely injured.
I was driving, but I definitely was NOT in control! After driving several seconds in the smoke, we emerged and there was no accident. The man in the car next to us looked at my wife as if to say, “What was that?”
Here’s the thing. With dozens of cars enveloped in the smoke, how likely is it that abosolutley not one car, one truck, one SUV or crossover…not one 18-wheeler stopped? If only one vehicle stopped it would have been catastrophic.
We immediately began thanking and praising God.
God answered our prayer before our trip. Our families could have been receiving a horrible phone call later that day.
Two weeks later after returning home, I was watching the news and saw a report of a multi-car accident on the same interstate, in the same area and one of the vehicles involved was a van. Not only that, 7 people were killed and 7 people were injured.
It was 7 people in our van that day (one person can’t be seen in the picture above).
I pray God’s strength for the families involved in that accident, but God quickly reminded me that could have been us.
So many times after near death experiences or after living foolishly many times people say, “I shouldn’t be here” as a testimony of God’s grace and mercy.
But I have learned that those experiences are confirmation that, WE SHOULD BE HERE! It’s confirmation that God still has purpose for our lives.
That experience gave me brand new appreciation for…
Psalm 118:17-18 (NKJV)
17 I shall not die, but live,
And declare the works of the Lord.
18 The Lord has chastened[a] me severely,
But He has not given me over to death.
Psalm 23:4 (NKJV)
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 20:6 (NKJV)
6 Now I know that the Lord saves His [a]anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.
Just as Psalm 118:17 say, “ I will declare the works of the Lord!”
When God delivers us, saves us, rescues, protects us from certain hurt, harm, danger or death it is our responsibility to let the world know.
God delivered my family from death that day December 21, 2018. We still don’t know where the smoke came from.
I do know that God proved to us that when trouble, pain or uncertainty, surrounds you like a cloud.
When you seem to be enveloped in darkness and you can’t see your way through.
When it seems you’re driving blind…