GRACE WHEN THE HEAT’S ON

Andy Hollifield 5-14-18

2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: For my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Acts 4:33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

I didn’t really know there was any other kind; great grace that is. I think it is always great and keeps getting better. I started to title this post “Grace Under Fire” but I decided that would sound a little too dramatic. After all, it isn’t like I was being shot at or anything, I was just sitting on the side of the road in Newberry, SC Sunday afternoon with a shredded fan belt while on my way home from Myrtle Beach. I know I just lost a lot of sympathy right there but it isn’t what you probably think. Did I mention that the heat was on; to the tune of 95 degrees and maybe hotter. That was the last reading I seen.

Actually, I was hesitant to even write about this because I didn’t want to sound like I was complaining. But then I thought, “There is no way I can not share what all the Lord did for me Sunday. And by the way, I had got a call Friday afternoon and was asked to take a trailer down to Help 4 Kids in Myrtle Beach to pick up a load of food for their satellite facility in Swannanoa, NC. By the time I got the trailer picked up and ate supper with my family, we hit the road about 6:30 on Friday. We wound up getting to the motel at a little before 1 AM Saturday morning. We went over to the warehouse at 10 AM to load the trailer and I do mean load. Although it was only about 16 feet long, take it from a fat guy, food weighs a lot.

When I woke up about 5:15 AM on Sunday, I laid there worrying about how heavy that trailer was. I decided that rather than leave at 8 AM like I had planned, I was going to rearrange some stuff. My wife and son and myself unloaded about a third of it and put a lot of canned goods in our truck and put some of the light stuff back on the trailer. With all of that done, we finally hit the road at about 9:30. We stopped for fuel, for us and the truck, and then headed home. We had just stopped at Exit 74 on I 26 for a quick break and had just gotten back on the interstate and up to speed when I noticed my power steering didn’t feel right. It didn’t take but a second to figure out that my power brakes weren’t working either. I had pretty much figured out the problem when the idiot light came on and told me to check my gauges and the coolant temperature confirmed my suspicions, I knew that in all likelihood my fan belt had broken. After pretty much coasting uphill on an exit ramp and gearing down to help the brakes get us stopped, We finally got to the side of the road and sat there trying to make phone calls to get some assistance. That may all sound boring and may have happened to most of you at some point in time. But, it doesn’t end there. That is just when it started getting good. The more things went wrong, the more God gave us grace. I had just called AAA and found out that they could tow the truck but they would only have room to take two of us with them so that would have left me staying, which I could have handled but my wife refused. My nephew would have come and picked Tyler and Diane up and taken them home but again my wife refused.

Before we had been sitting there very long at all, an older gentleman stopped by and asked if we needed help and I told him that I was on the phone with someone. He waved and said good-bye and then drove out of sight. That was number one and shortly after came Good Samaritan number 2. Mr Harmon offered to take me to the parts store to get a belt which I did. When we returned to the truck, he insisted that Diane and Tyler go and sit in his pickup with the A/C on while he helped me fix the truck. He was number 2 and when we ran into problems, he went to get number three. Tim Franklin followed Mr Harmon to the truck and began to try to get the belt on. He had done the work on the log trucks Mr Harmon had driven years ago. After a couple or more hours, Tim had the belt on and we were on our way. But, right after he had got there, there was a lady pulled up next to Mr Harmon’s truck. She walked over to my wife carrying a grocery store bag and explained that although she wasn’t a mechanic she wanted to help so she had brought a bottle of Gatorade and a couple of big bottles of water. She gave them to my wife and got in her car and drove away without even an introduction. While I was getting something out of the truck a little while later, a man pulled up and motioned checking to see if we had anything to drink. I motioned back that we did and thanked him and he waved and drove away. Fortunately, even though I had forgotten to take a small cooler like we usually do, my mom had one she loaned me when we stopped by there before we left Friday. Thank God we had water. But that was 5 different people who either helped or offered to. After we were rolling again, my wife reminded me that 5 is the number of grace. We had broken down at 2:30 and left at 7:15, after getting their names and addresses of course. We stopped to eat supper since it had been 8 hours since we had eaten lunch. We finally got home at 10:15.

Now I am not really one to try to be super-spiritual by any means, but I do like to look at any situation and see how God’s hand was working. For one thing, we were able to get off of the exit into a safe place. The belt obviously needed changing and it could have broken when I was in heavy traffic going through Columbia but it didn’t. God, as always, kept me and my family out of harms way. Also, Mr Harmon had passed by once on his way over to his church to do some small repair and stopped as he headed back home. When I had gotten in his pickup to go to the parts store, the first thing I noticed was a well-worn bible laying on the seat. It’s funny the little things God does just to ease your mind in times of trouble. Even though Mr Harmon was in his seventies, he stayed right there with us until we were ready to leave with his truck running the A/C the whole nearly 5 hours, again the number of grace. I will likely be doing a lot of work with Help 4 Kids and will probably travel that road a lot in years to come. God may have just figured that I might need to know some people about halfway that I could call on if I had a problem. I don’t know the mind of God but I do know that he always has a purpose and he always knows best. At the very least, I have made a couple of new friends and once again saw that not only is giving still in style, but God’s grace works wonders when the heats on. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

 

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