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Why Your Self-Esteem Should Flow from God

God’s Hand Of Protection

     My friend, Bob, grew up in Chicago and had moved to rural New Mexico with his parents. He was definitely a ‘city boy’. He hadn’t had the opportunity to learn to drive on country roads like the rest of us did well before we turned 15. He had received his driver’s license and bought a car on the same day exactly 1 week before. He and Phil showed up unexpectedly at my door on a Friday night to go ‘hang out’. My father had answered the door. Before we left my father took me aside and told me to be careful because he had smelled beer on Phil’s breathe. I reassured him and we left.  

      It was no surprise that Bob and Phil had a six pack of beer in the car. Two for each of us was fine. We weren’t planning on getting drunk. We cruised aimlessly looking for someplace to go, hoping to find a party somewhere. There were lots of spots where our friends would go to just hang out. Sometimes there was beer or pot, sometimes not. We ran into Mary, one of our classmates. She suggested we go up to a certain picnic ground in the nearby mountains, that there might be a party up there. It was one of those places that people went to just because it was so beautiful in the night or day and it was a beautiful and warm evening.

      We followed Mary up to the picnic ground in her car. The road wound up through the valley on one side of the mountain and took us from an elevation of 6000 ft in town to 6800 ft at the picnic grounds. There was no one there except some campers at the far end. We could smell the smoke from the dying campfire from the road as we drove past. We stopped and got out of the cars to talk and after a few minutes decided to head back to town. Phil had finished his two beers and Bob was just starting his second. I had only had one. I don’t know if anyone had even offered one to Mary.

      We began the twenty minute drive back to town, again following Mary. As we left the picnic ground the valley opened up and on the downward side the floor of the ravine was about two hundred feet below to the right. I was riding shotgun with my window open. For some reason I didn’t really give it much thought at the time but a voice outside my window said, “Fasten your seat belt.” I didn’t sense any danger but I did fasten my seat belt. As soon as I looked up I saw that the road was going to the left but the car was sliding off the gravel shoulder.

      Everything seemed to move in slow motion. The car tilted forward and to the right and floated into the ravine. The front end struck some rocks below and the headlights went out. We tumbled mostly to the right with the back of the car going over the front at least once. When the car stopped it was right side up and pointing up hill.

      I looked to my left to see Bob’s head resting on the steering wheel. The roof had collapsed on his side of the car. He wasn’t moving. Phil was laying in the back seat groaning. He hadn’t been wearing his seat belt. I was pumped with adrenaline. I asked, “Are you guys OK? Can you move”? Bob said, “My car!” Phil just groaned. I said, “Let’s get out of here.”  

      The face of the ravine was about a 40-degree incline. We climbed through the windows of the car and stood on the rocks that the car had come to rest on. The car was demolished with the front end smashed and the roof caved in. It was truly amazing that we were alive at all. We began the climb up the side of the ravine. There were patches of loose rock and patches of heavy brush, which made the climb challenging in the moonless night.

      When we finally reached the road, Bob and Phil sat down. Bob’s nose looked bruised but he wasn’t bleeding. Phil just said his back hurt and that he had glass all over him. After a couple of minutes Mary came back. She had turned around when she didn’t see us following her. She got out of the car to see if we were hurt and if she could help. We decided to all get into her car and go back to town. Unfortunately, her car would not start. He generator belt had come off and her battery was now dead. Bob and Phil just lay down on the side of the road. I was worried that they may be more injured than they appeared.

      We remembered the smoke we had smelled at the end of the campground. Mary and I began the half mile run up the road to the picnic area to see if we could get some help. As we approached the campsite we began yelling for help.  It was so dark that we could barely see the road.  As we ran through the campground a man appeared and asked what was wrong. We explained what had happened and he offered to drive us back to town. After being examined at the hospital, Bob only had a bruised nose and Phil had a back strain and several small cuts from the glass. I had only a scratch on my right shoulder and I had lost my glasses.

      About two days later my mother told me that the daughter of a family friend had been awakened that same night at about the same time and had been compelled to pray for me personally.

     Whose voice was it that told me to fasten my seat belt?  A guardian angel, the Holy Spirit, maybe the very voice of God. I don’t know. I only know that had I not fastened my seat belt I probably would have been ejected from the vehicle and either been dashed against the rocks or crushed under the vehicle.

     I believe God saved me from destruction that night for His purpose whatever it may be.

                                                                                                                    - D.P.

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Editor’s Note: This individual did not become a Christian until some time later. He is now a Christian and serves God faithfully along with his wife and children.