Tuesday, April 21, 2009

God's Providence

Providence: (noun) divine guidance or care.

On last week's trip to Albuquerque, I saw God's providence worked out in many details.

We planned to travel on Thursday morning.

On Wednesday dust from high winds in Arizona closed a stretch of I-40 on which we would be travelling. The storm also brought cold temperatures and snow flurries.

But Thursday's weather, although still cold, was calm and dry. (See picture below.) I-40 was open. Providence.

I traveled with Lu, a perky septuagenarian VOM rep in her perky 2009 Impala (very smooth ride and great mileage, in case you're looking).

Lu kept me glued to my seat as we left Flagstaff, with an amazing story. She and her husband took a homeless man into their home six months ago. The man turned out to have a hair trigger temper, which came to a climax just a few days ago. She and her husband returned home one evening to find a note from their "renter" on their door which said there would be "hell to pay" if they entered their home. Incredibly, they quietly sneaked into their home and went to bed. The next morning Lu called the police, and after a semi-complex but efficient legal "due process", the police removed the man from their house. They were shown genuine care by the officials (and some of the officials go to her church!). What a blessing to live in a country where there is still some law and order, and no bribes were required for justice! Providence.

Soon after Lu finished telling me this story, we witnessed an incredibly terrible automobile crash about 500 feet ahead of us, at exit 269 on eastbound I-40. A car in the left lane suddenly began flipping end over end to the right across the interstate, down the hill, and landed on the edge of the exit ramp. It was like watching a movie stunt car -- the worst accident I have ever witnessed.

A tow truck and a red sports car pulled over immediately and their drivers jumped out and ran to the smoking car. I tend to be scared of getting involved in trauma scenes like this and I admire people who do jump into them. And in some third world countries, people stop when there is an accident, but they stop so they can steal the contents of the vehicles! I am thankful and blessed to live in a place where Good Samaritans roam the highways. Providence.

I dialed 911. It rang for a long time before anyone answered. That was disconcerting. I was thankful I wasn't calling to report a man pointing a gun at me! When someone did answer I had to repeat the story a couple times as the operator transferred me from one person to another and finally the phone just went dead. However, about that time, a police vehicle pulled up. I really don't think there was time for him to have gotten word from the 911 operators, so he must have just been in the area and seen the accident. Providence.

We drove forward to get a better look and amazingly, an occupant was crawling up out of the car as the Good Sams held the door open for him. He was bleeding from his scalp, but not profusely. I am amazed anyone could live through an accident like this, much less crawl out.

We arrived at our destination in Albuquerque about 1:30 PM local time. In my next posts, I will tell you some more of the lessons I learned there, but I want to finish up this post with another example of providence. As I told you, on Thursday, we had great weather. On Friday, Albuquerque was cold (40s), cloudy, and wet (snowing in the mountains nearby). However, on Saturday, the day of our return to Arizona, the weather was dry, clear, and beautiful.

"Thanks, Father, for caring so much for me, for Lu and her husband, for the driver of the wrecked car... and for giving Your Son to take the punishment we deserve so that by turning from our sins and trusting Him we can be forgiven and reconciled to You. That is the greatest demonstration of providence."

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