PEANUT’S NEW SHIRT AND THE $100 BILL

Lightening, thunder, wind, rain in sheets and big drops. 15 minutes of torrential rain blowing hard in every direction, then done. That’s our typical summer storm here in Las Vegas and we had one on Sunday evening.

The next day I came home from shopping, got out of my car and walked across the lawn toward the new water dish I put out for the wild birds. I wanted to see if the rain had filled it up. I looked down and there in front of the dish was a neatly folded $100 dollar bill. My instinct was to look around quickly to see if anyone was looking for it, but there was no one around. I picked it up and put it into my pocket. I’ve picked up pennies and even quarters, but never a $100 bill. I smiled ear to ear.

Someone must have lost it in the storm, but no one was coming around to claim it. And I found it just in time, because a few minutes later my lawn guys came and they would have either found and kept the money, or chopped it up in a million little pieces in the lawn mower.

I tried to figure out why God would drop me the $100 but I couldn’t connect it to anything at all. I don’t believe in coincidence. Saying something is a coincidence is man’s attempt to explain away what he has no control over. I tried to tie it to some good deed, but everything I could think of fell flat and God wasn’t talking. It wasn’t until 2 days later that I understood.

I was buying dog food and bought Peanut, my new rescue dog, a little dog shirt just because I love the little guy and I thought he’d like it. Then it dawned on me that my $100 bill had come to me simply the same way. He gave it to me just because He loves me and He thought I’d like it. And He was right. I liked it a lot. God’s love is a gift.

We receive God’s grace, not just because we are desperate, or because we pray so hard or any of those other religious things we do. We can pray and believe and fast and a lot of other things, but then there’s the extra blessings God sends “just because He wants to.”

God can drop His grace on us when we least expect it. It can happen anytime, anywhere, without us doing a doggone thing.

God told Moses, “I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy” (Exodus 33:19).

All I can say now is, “God keep it up and thank you so much!”

Love, Carolyn

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BLACK ICE

I was driving to a friend’s house when it started to rain. As I turned into the far lane of the freeway on-ramp, the wheels on my pickup hit the grease in the road and it started to hydroplane just like hitting black ice. I turned into the skid but then I was sliding in the opposite direction and out of control. The whole truck slipped one way then the other, then toward the cement easement.

I heard the forceful sound of crushing metal as my front end smashed into the cement. I heard the garish crunch but I didn’t feel it. Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion and I was the spectator watching a movie of myself.

This happened to me before in Michigan when a big truck jackknifed across the freeway right in front of me and I nearly hit it but suddenly stopped only about five feet short, and once when I hit black ice at an intersection in Ohio.

I am convinced that God actually slows down time in these kinds of situations. In Isaiah 38:8 God said, “Behold I will bring the shadow on the sundial ten degrees backward.” That was about forty minutes. God can and will do this for us. And I pray for protection every morning and truly believe that angels surround us so that we don’t get hurt. Psalm 5:12 promises, “with favor thou wilt thou compass him as with a shield.” I believe that with all my heart.

The back end of my truck jutted out into the oncoming lanes. Fortunately there were only a few cars coming and they were able to go around.  I managed to scrape my way across the two lanes and into the hotel parking lot.

A tall good-looking man came over. He asked if I was hurt and I said I wasn’t. He said, “I saw the whole thing and I can’t believe you weren’t hurt and that you can actually drive your car!” He pulled a tool out of his shirt pocket, “I always carry this with me.” It looked like a pair of pliers, but then he began to cut into the metal bumper with it and was able to bend out the bumper and use the tool again to loosen the last bolt holding it on. He put the piece in the bed of my truck. Then he used the tool again to pull the fender away from the wheel so it wouldn’t scrape. After a little effort on his part and testing on my part, I was able to drive freely. All I had was twenty dollars with me, which I gave him and thanked him profusely for the help.

A couple more miracles took place around this incident: my roommate found a place to get parts at the most discounted prices in America and my neighbor offered to put them on for free. What I’ll end up paying is less than half of what I’d pay with a deductible.

I’m not trying to say that all of this was a delight. Not so. After the accident I had to grab my mind and mouth many times to keep out the negatives of worry, stress and despair. But thank God I was able to do it. I’m learning to keep quiet and trust Him even in the negative situations and He comes through every time.

If His eyes are on the sparrow, He will surely watch over me. (Luke 12:6-7)

Love, Carolyn

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