On April 21, I was driving to school with my daughter, Virginia,
as my only passenger.
On April 21, I was driving to school with my daughter, Virginia, as my only passenger. We were headed south on U.S. 101 when we came to a point in Prunedale where just one week before, we were rear-ended. As I was thinking back over that minor collision, a semi-truck was merging onto the freeway.
Instantly, I could tell that it was not going to make the turn because the momentum was causing it to lean like more than thousands of trucks I’d seen before. Instead of merging into the right lane, it crossed into the left lane and cut off the car just in front of us. The cab straightened out but the trailer did not. It tipped over and in an instant, crushed the car in front of us. I slammed on my breaks and stopped within a car length of the overturned truck.
In that split second when the truck was going over, I felt only shock. I grabbed my phone and struggled with the usually easy task of dialing three simple numbers – 911. Many thoughts came while I sat there waiting for emergency crews: “Someone’s dead. That could have been us. They (in the smashed car) were completely innocent. They could have done nothing to avoid the collision. If I had been going 56 mph instead of 55, I’d be under that truck. What if I had been tailgating?”
The thought that did not come to my mind was, “Why?”
I sat there shaking beyond control and marveled at God’s sovereign timing, humbled. I watched as others got out of their cars to see if anyone was hurt and praised God for them, knowing that if I tried to get out of my car, I’d collapse. I just couldn’t get the shaking under control, and I couldn’t keep the slow tears from falling.
Today, as I was passing that spot on my way to school, I was thinking about the confusion of emotions that I’ve been experiencing. Why am I sad? And I realized that I was grieving over the “What ifs.”
If it had been us, Virginia would most certainly be dead. My condition would be pretty bleak as well. If I didn’t understand the sovereignty of God, I would be experiencing guilt. I would be asking “Why? Why them and not us?”
I found myself praying that God would change my heart’s focus from the fears of the “What ifs,” to the praise of the “What ares.”
God did protect us and spared our lives. I am still here. I still have the chance to know Him more, to praise Him and serve Him. Today, every breath that I take has the sweet savor of God’s grace. How good it is to know Him.
“Because Thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice.” Psalm 63:7