IN ALL THINGS AND FOR ALL THINGS; GIVE THANKS Andy Hollifield 8-7-18
Psalms 121:8 The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even forever more.
Sometimes there are things that happen in our lives that we don’t think too much about at the time. Then later on, after we have had time to think about and look at it from all sides, we realize that God was protecting us from harm, evil, or hurt the whole time. Especially in the middle of those trying times you can see God’s hand at work in your life. Ephesians 5:20 says, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This is a story about one of those times that looked like only aggravation but was actually just God doing what he does best; taking care of his children. It is sometimes hard to “give thanks FOR all things” and also in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “IN every thing give thanks.” When you are IN the middle of something unpleasant or uncomfortable or again; aggravating, giving thanks is hard to do.
A lot of you may know by now that this coming Saturday will be H.O.P.E. Ministries annual backpack project. Today I had to take the backpacks and the supplies to go in them to Ridgeview and start setting up for Saturday. I still had the trailer belonging to Help 4 Kids and they said I could use it to get everything over there. We got it there and then took the trailer back to them in Swannanoa. On my way home, after I made the turn to go up Pisgah Highway I began to hear a noise in the truck that I hadn’t heard before. I could tell it was in the left front wheel. It was bad enough that I decided to get off of the road and check it out. It even did it at low-speed. After stopping twice and finding nothing, I tried to get home with it. It sounded so bad I was afraid to drive it. I stopped one more time and tried the only thing I knew that it might be. I checked the lug nuts. I recently had taken the front wheels off to replace speed sensors and had them good and tight when I put them back on so I thought it couldn’t be that. To my surprise, I could turn them with my fingers. I had it in another shop since I did the work but I don’t think they had the wheels off. I tightened them all except for two studs that had broken off out of eight. I usually recheck the lug nuts a few days after having the wheels off for any reason but I hadn’t this time.
I have made mention of how much mechanic work I have had to do on our vehicles lately and to be honest, I have gotten kind of tired of it for a while. Needless to say, I wasn’t a happy camper thinking about replacing those wheel studs. But my mom and I talked later about how blessed I was that the wheel hadn’t come off. After I had returned from the parts house, I was watching TV and begin to think about what all could have happened. I realized that if that heavy oversized wheel had of come off at pretty much any speed, it could have went through the windshield of another car and likely would have killed someone. I also thought about the damage it would have done to our truck even if I had of been able to avoid a wreck. Of course I thought about how bad a wreck could have been and possibly me or my family could have been killed. Then I began to think about how many miles I have pulled that utility trailer since I had done the work on the truck. It would have been bad enough if the wheel had of come off anyway, but if I had of had that trailer on at the time, it would have likely been catastrophic if not fatal to us or other motorists. I also thought about the steep mountain between Mooresburg and Sneedville, Tn. that we crossed twice last week. On Sunday I had went to preach at Laurelton Chapel in Madison county off of Foster Creek. Going across the mountain to get over to the Wolf Laurel exit or especially coming back scares me to even think about what could have happened.
Anyone that has read my writing for any length of time knows that I am an optimist to the fullest extent. I have come to the conclusion however that since the Lord has blessed our ministry so much since we have gotten acquainted with Help 4 Kids, the devil has fought with a vengeance especially mechanically. But I also believe that if the devil is bothering you, it is likely that you are bothering him. That only makes me more certain that God is about to do even greater things through our ministry. I am looking forward to what he is going to do and thankful that he allows us to be a part of his work helping others. I am just hanging on for the ride.
I didn’t write this in any way to complain but actually quite the opposite. If you didn’t pick up on it, this whole incident could have had a very different ending but for the grace of God. I wasn’t real happy about the situation Monday afternoon and I’m still not. But, I can thank God for it. I thank him that I was where I was and had just taken off from a red light just a minute or so before I heard it. I was also driving at a low speed due to traffic in front of me. So I guess all in all I have a lot to be thankful FOR. I can also be thankful IN the situation. When I am doing the repair on Tuesday, I will be thinking about all the different ways that God has blessed and preserved me and how different it could have been.
Nobody likes trouble of any kind and I am no exception. But when trouble comes, even if it is of our own making, I am thankful that I have a God that can and does protect and preserve me through it all regardless of what it might be. I sometimes encounter big problems but I have a big God to take care of them. My prayer is that maybe this story will help someone to look at their own problems a little bit differently. If you look at it closely enough, I believe you will see God’s hand at work in your situation. He don’t always work on our timetable but he does always work. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!