Poop-Brown and the Protection of God
The following is a true story . . .
Little could I have imagined how important my old ugly Jeep would become to my cousin and me. There are times where God answers your prayer, and though it’s not exactly what you prayed for, because He knows the future, it’s always what’s best!
A month before getting married, I needed a van to drive my new bride up to Saskatchewan, Canada, to continue my education at Canadian Bible College. I very specifically prayed, “Lord, if possible, I would like to have a Ford van within my price range, with windows all around it so I can see better when driving the thing, with inside access to the engine for the cold winters up there, and with a stick shift transmission. Amen!” A week later, my dad called me and said he saw a van for sale a couple of streets over. That day I looked at it, and it was everything I’d asked for to a tee!! What a wedding present from the Lord!
A decade or so later I found myself needing another car. We’d just purchased an old farmhouse for a home, so there was very little money left for a car. Recalling my previous van prayer, I boldly prayed, “Lord! I need a cheap, reliable car . . . and I’d really like a Jeep!” In my mind, I was optimistically seeing a “cool” bright cherry red manly outdoorsman-climbing-the-high-rugged-mountain-roads-four-wheel-drive kind of Jeep. Well, God did answer my prayer, and I did get a cheap Jeep, but it wasn’t exactly the “cool” bright cherry red manly-outdoorsman-climbing-the-high-rugged-mountain-roads-four-wheel-drive kind of Jeep that I had envisioned. It was more like the “NOT cool” box-shaped U.S. Postal Service kind of Jeep! After it had served its purposes for the postal service, in order to sell them, they painted their well-used fleet brown, a sort of poop-brown, to cover up the postal service logos. It also came with large side mirrors like elephant ears, a steering wheel that was on the right where most American passengers sit, and it came complete with only ONE seat . . . and NO reverse! So you always had to pay attention to how you parked since you could only go in one direction . . . forward.
Actually, it was such an oddity that it was fun to drive, but I must say that steering on the right side like postal carriers and the folks in Brittan took some getting use to, especially going around corners where you felt like you were dragging your butt on the curb!
Now, Part I of God’s protection for me: One late afternoon on a snowy winter day, I was sitting stuck in traffic at the end of an entrance ramp leading onto the freeway where they were doing some road work. This made it difficult to get into the flow of speeding traffic in the left two lanes. I was sitting there happily humming to myself since the Jeep also didn’t have a radio.
While waiting, an odd noise behind me quickly crept into my consciousness. Looking in my big side mirror on the left, I saw a large, white Cadillac start into a spin on the slick freeway. Everything seemed to slow as I watched it circle once, then twice, and without hitting any other car, slam into my left side, lifting my Jeep up in the air to nearly a 45-degree angle. The Cadillac bounced off my Jeep, and as my Jeep slammed back to earth, the Cadillac crashed into the guardrail on the other side of the freeway!
All the traffic had stopped; I jumped out and ran to the Cadillac where a shaking woman emerged crying and shouting at me, “Are you OK; ARE YOU OK!!??” I assured her I was just fine and explained that my seat was on the right side of my Jeep–opposite the side of impact. In my heart I prayed, “Thank you, Jesus, for giving me a Jeep with a seat on the “wrong” side! Had I been sitting where most people sit, I probably would have been very seriously injured!”
Part 2, God’s protection for my cousin. That crazy old Jeep was still drivable after the hit, so I drove it for the next couple of years and then gave it to my cousin who needed a car. On April 1st, I get a call from my cousin apologizing for totaling the Jeep in a car crash! I said, “Yeah, yeah. April Fools!!” He said, “Seriously, I totaled the Jeep!!” “Yeah, yeah,” I said. Then his dad, my uncle, gets on the phone. “It’s true! I’m standing here next to it in a junkyard, and IT IS TOTALED!!” Finally, I believed my uncle.
My cousin explained that he had been going about 50 miles-an-hour on a busy, two-lane highway. Not far ahead, a guy suddenly pulls out into my cousin’s lane to go around someone. He can’t get back in his lane. The right side of the road had a deep ravine with no room for my cousin to pull off. The left oncoming lane was packed with traffic, so he couldn’t go there. As my cousin slams on his brakes, this guy smashes right into the front of the Jeep at full speed! . . . a head-on collision that might have been, “The End!” for my cousin except for how the Jeep was built.
The old Jeep’s body sat much higher off the ground than a normal car, so the damaging force of the impact went underneath my cousin. The man in the other car was hurt so badly that they had to rush him by helicopter to a nearby hospital. And my cousin? He only received a split lip from hitting the steering wheel. Another huge “Praise the Lord!”
God may not always give us what we ask for, but as our all-knowing, loving Heavenly Father, He will for sure–always give us what we need. Even if that means a poop-brown Jeep!
Copyright © 2009 by William D. (Nick) Nichols