We were making excellent time.
BW quickly threaded our minivan through the phalanx of barrels dividing the highway from the shoulder. I got out and looked at the back right tire. No problem there. I turned around and saw our flattened, shredded, smoking right front tire. Somewhere we'd picked up a large nail.
As I spoke with the AAA agent I realized that we were in probably the safest spot we could be in, given our situation: a construction barrier behind us, barrels to the side, a wide shoulder, and the mile marker and exit marker just ahead. We praised God for gently placing our damaged minivan in a barrel-sheltered cove.
A half hour later Joe arrived in his company pickup truck. He had all the necessary tools. He followed us to a gas station to add air to our spare tire. He shepherded us toward the local Sears. He even called me back to make sure we were OK.
3 1/2 hours later our newly aligned vehicle sported 4 new tires and we were on our way. We even made it to Savannah with time to swim. As we continued along the northbound lanes we both noticed that, for many miles, there was no safe place to pull off the road. Had our flat occured elsewhere, my family would have been in danger. Further, Brunswick was the only city where a major retailer was open on Sunday--for 80 miles in either direction. We'd stopped in the only place where our car could be fixed that day.
Skeptics might say that if God were really looking out for us, we'd never have had a flat tire. I disagree.
Nowhere in Scripture are we promised that this world will be easy. Our lives don't always go according to our plans. Unexpected nails flatten us with illness, job loss, death of loved ones, pain, heartache. But we serve a mighty God. When dangers surround and threaten us, he shelters us in the palm of his hand as he ministers and changes us.
I pray that I remember this the next time I'm stuck on the shoulder of life.