Last Friday, my morning started off like any other. Actually, it didn’t. My coffee maker decided to stop working. I had woken up late and grumpily problem solved my way to a cup of coffee. I should have taken that as a warning for the rest of my day.
After work, I had committed to giving my neighbor a ride to the airport. I had 30 minutes to get home, change, and screech to a stop in front of their home. As I hurriedly packed up my things at the end of the day, it seemed as though every one of my co-workers who had not spoken to me all day wanted to tell me their life story in that moment. Once I got in the car, my husband called to remind me to check the fuel gauge to see if I needed gas. He had driven the car the night before and felt like it was running on the low side. I didn’t have time to get gas. I was on a time crunch already. I Googled the distance to the airport, checked that with how many miles I had left and was relieved to see that I could make it there with a few miles to spare.
I picked her up, strapped three boys into the back (2 of hers and my one) and we were off! Well, we were off- stuck behind every slow driver in town. She called her husband to let him know that we were headed out and he began urging her to go back home for something. I nervously checked the clock, checked the route, and knew that as it was, we would be barely making it on time. But, we went back anyways.
We started off again. Take 2. We’re on our way. Just enough gas and just enough time. Until we we hit traffic. My map began telling me (in red) how much longer it would take. My car began telling me (in yellow) how little gas I really had left. We could still make it, but it would be cutting it close. We sat in traffic for almost 20 minutes, creeping along, and once it cleared up—I missed the exit. I missed the ever loving exit. My car gently reminded me that I had 0 miles left on this tank of gas.
I took the next exit and started to weave my way back towards the airport. My map told me that I had at least 3 miles to go. It started raining. (I can’t make this stuff up!!). My neighbor nervously kept glancing over at my route and my gas indicator. I began silently praying in my head and reassured them out loud that we would make it.
We made it into the airport and to their terminal. They had 30 minutes to catch their flight. As I unstrapped her kids, I told them to grab their things and run with their mom. I told them that I would be hunting in the area for a gas station and to call me if they didn’t make it on their flight.
After we had dropped our friends off, Isaiah began asking me how much gas we had left. I told him that we had been driving around on “0” for several miles. He asked me what would happen if we ran out of gas, and I told him that we wouldn’t. I told him to say a prayer and then I said a prayer. I didn’t want to think about he and I walking to a gas station, in the rain. I set off to find a gas station as the rain began pouring down at a steadier pace. I asked Google to navigate me to the nearest a gas station- 4 miles away. I was in the left lane, and it told me to take the immediate exit on the right. I would have to cross 4 lanes of traffic to make the exit. That wasn’t happening. Next! It told me to make a u-turn and then take the next exit. As I was making the u-turn, there was a sign instructing me to not take the next exit. As I completed my u-turn, I could see why. I would be in the left lane and would have less than 1/4 mile to exit on the extreme right. My only other option was to continue going straight back through the airport, and I really didn’t believe that my car would make it. I slowly crept over to the next lane. I checked and double checked and crossed 3 lanes of traffic to make the exit.
I have never been so relieved to over pay for gas. I sat at the pump and breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank you Jesus!” Was all that I could say. I thanked God for His protection and provision. I could feel my fear and anxiety building during the entire drive and all that I could do to calm myself down was speak positive things. When everything was telling me that we wouldn’t make it, I had to remain calm and drive on as though we would.
Hopefully, you’re not facing an empty tank of gas, but maybe you are. Whatever your struggle is – speak words of life. Stay strong and build your faith to make it to your goal. ~Shiney