The steering of the car began to feel a bit mushy, and I noticed that the low tire pressure indicator was lit up on the dashboard. Then a woman driving past us on the freeway mouthed, “You have a flat tire.”I pulled off on the shoulder and set the brake. As I got out to check the tires, a strange thing happened. The thought crossed my mind clearly: “There will be hidden blessings in this.”
The right rear tire was down, and had been chewed up a bit by the rim before I was able to stop. How could there be a blessing in that?
It was the first time I had needed to change a tire on our minivan. My wife dug out the owner’s manual and I verified that I would indeed have to move the part of the load that was in the center of the vehicle, pull up the carpet, and remove the wooden covering over the spare tire well in order to dig out the jack and runty looking donut tire.
After wading through a muddy ditch to find a big rock to wedge under the front tire, I went to work. I had been at it for about 15 minutes when a car stopped behind us on the shoulder and a young man got out. He asked if he could help. Now, I learned to change flat tires probably before his parents were born. I had already done the muscle-straining labor of removing the lug nuts and was in the process of jacking up the car. I told him I could handle it just fine. But he had me when he smiled and said his mother had taught him always to help where he could, and he wouldn’t want to disappoint her. So I let him go to it. Maybe the Lord had told him he needed to serve someone that day, I thought
The tires were nearly new—less than 2,000 miles on them–and they came with a warranty from a national chain. While we were working on the tire, my wife used her phone to look up the nearest store for that tire company. It was less than a mile away, down at the end of the freeway off-ramp just ahead of us.
When he finished with the tire, the young man followed us down to the tire store to be sure we got there safely. We thanked the Lord for him in our hearts as he drove away. About an hour later, after eating our sack lunch in the waiting area, we were on our way with a new tire.
A skeptic might say, “Where was the blessing? You lost a tire and faced some danger and inconvenience on the side of the road. And that tire could have failed anywhere.”
Exactly. If it was going to fail, that could have happened on Interstate 80 in the barren middle of Wyoming during the cross-country trip we have to make next week. But it didn’t.
You can believe what you want to believe, but I’ll believe what the Lord told me by the voice of His Spirit when I got out of the car: there were hidden blessings in the experience.
And I wonder how many times, when things happen that seem discouraging or troublesome, do I fail to see that the Lord has provided blessings in disguise?
I love this! This makes me wonder: when my washing machine breaks, is it because a repairman prayed for work and the Lord knew I’d help if I knew? Or, perhaps more than the money, does that repairman need the experience of walking past the pictures of Christ in my home? How much of the red tape and logistical inconvenience that we groan about was engineered by God to bring us into contact with a specific person? And therefore, will I be gracious and graceful under fire? Paul and Silas were allowed to go to jail because the jailor’s wife and family were ready for the gospel. (Acts 16) Am I watching enough for hidden blessings? Love it. Thank you Don!