Blessings Beat Bad News

As an postscript to my recent post on the boarder rally and the disturbing things we heard and saw, I cannot let an unexpected blessing go to waste. In these times the news fills our senses with the evil deeds of others; of betrayal; hypocrisy and lies. It is easy to let them guide you into an “ain’t it awful” attitude.

Returning from the rally dusty, thirsty, and exhausted, we travelled through the dark Arizona countryside. We were in the middle of nowhere and if not, we could see it from there. Suddenly a streak appeared in our headlights. A giant pig/peccary known here as a javelina, darted across the road and we hit it with our right bumper. Speaking of blessings, if it had made contact on the driver’s side, we might have lost control. We kept going amidst the sound of something dragging and a few lights flashing on our dash. We limped into the tiny town of Hereford, Arizona and stopped at the first gas/convenience store and to assess the damage.

We drive a Ford Explorer, and at first glance, the upper bumper seemed okay. A kindly older gentleman (probably our age) was filling his tank and asked if we had a problem. He at once got a flashlight from his car and looked underneath (I will always carry a flashlight from now on). I expected to see gory remains of the javelina, but we discovered instead the sensor cable hanging from the front bumper, along with the radiator housing, and several other things. Then we noticed part of the bumper either was gone or leaning at a rakish angle. That accounted for the dragging sound we heard.

Soon two more young men came up and gave their assessment. They went into the convenience store and bought some rope and refused to accept reimbursement. Another gentleman with an unkempt beard looking like someone from the movie “Deliverance” arrived on the scene. He laid down with the rope and tried to tie up the hanging fragments with no luck.

A Cochise County Sheriff Deputy arrived next and surveyed the damage. He acknowledged that a full-grown Javelina is indeed a sturdy animal and the fact the countryside was teeming with them. He watched the man with the beard for a moment and went back to his car. He returned with zip ties used for restraining prisoners and that did the trick.

All these ordinary Americans were polite, caring, and ready to help a stranger. It warmed my heart and took away the fear and stress we would have to find a place to spend the night…and then what? When we offered to compensate the bearded man for all his trouble, he shook his head and said, “No, that would ruin my blessing.”

The mainstream media harangues us with distortions about all Americans being bad people coming from a bad history, but I now had proof their narrative is not the truth. I knew it before, but this was a good reminder. I hope someday I can pay that blessing forward to someone else in trouble.

We headed back to SaddleBrooke Ranch in a now-unairconditioned car. The javelina had wrecked the compressor/condenser too. I did not realize as we approached Tucson, that it could still be 95 degrees at 10:30 p.m.

The Bible teaches we are to praise God continuously no matter our circumstances. At times that is so hard to do. We find ourselves mired in the muck of anger, fear, bitterness, and foreboding; a prison of our own making. Before we realize it, our stress levels rise, and we lose our joy. Praising and thanking God is more for our sakes than His. As we recall His attributes; His omnipotence, sovereignty, justice, truth, and mercy, our spirits lift as if we are already in the heavenly realm. We were still able to drive the car; we were unhurt in our confrontation with the javelina, and we were going to make it home. Sometimes counting our blessings is all we can do.

Author: jleasmith

I have led bible studies for over thirty-five years and one thing I have learned--God uses imperfect people who believe and trust Him. Therefore, I have written fictional accounts of selected Bible characters in order to display God's mercy and love to less than perfect people. In fact, I found He goes out of His way to display their shortcomings and failings in order to demonstrate His grace. The Old and New Testament are inexorably intertwined in order to display the scarlet thread of redemption. His promises are ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ. These three books encompass the Old Testament and those who believed in things unseen. It is my hope that readers will see that scarlet thread moving in the lives of ordinary men and women today. The early saints looked forward to a promised redeemer, but we look back upon His life and ministry. We must make a choice to believe or not. His reward is not based on works, but faith alone. We are no different than those ancient people.

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