Thankful For the Ditch

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. ~ Isaiah 55:8-9

My son, Jonathan, was visiting a friend in the Charlotte, NC, area on a Saturday evening in March 2014, having driven from Knoxville, TN, where we live, and planning to return home the next afternoon. As he was leaving and backing out of the driveway later that night, his car went into a shallow drainage ditch. The house is in rural setting with no street lights, and it was an unfamiliar setting to Jonathan. He was able to drive out of the ditch okay but found out later that he had bent an axle on his car. His first thought was how thankful he was that his recent plan to buy a newer car had not worked out.

Jonathan called someone in Monroe, NC, who he knew would be able to help with car repairs, and the Lord allowed him to drive there safely on Sunday; approximately an hour from the hotel he stayed at Saturday night. He was able to do some work that provided much-needed help and income for the repair bill. The repairs kept him in North Carolina two extra days. It turned out that not only was the axle bent, but because his car was older, the bearings were bad and there was a slight oil leak. The leak he knew about; the bearings he didn’t. Had those bearings “given way” on his trip back through the mountains, it would have been more costly, much more inconvenient, and perhaps a dangerous situation. It seems that God used that small ditch to delay the return to Tennessee for several reasons.

Being thankful for “the ditch” that comes along every now and then in our lives is not easy. Our human nature most often whines and gripes and focuses on “the bent axle” or the change to our plans rather than on the safety God provided. We forget to be thankful for the opportunity to earn income for the repair bill. We forget to look for what it is God wants to teach us in that moment.

This mama is very humbled and thankful still as I write and reflect on this memory for a vivid, loving reminder from my Heavenly Father that He DOES love me; He has NOT left me to figure things out on my own; and His plan is FAR greater than my finite mind can even begin to comprehend. My emotions, fears, and confusion at times are results of my own weakness and lack of faith. I am so thankful for a merciful, loving Savior Who knows the fallibility and limitations of our human nature and loves us still! Lord, please help me always to remember to praise You for “the ditch!”

*modified from a 3-25-14 Facebook post