Sometime ago, I made a trip with my family from Ibadan to Ile Ife, both in western Nigeria. We were going for my younger brother’s marriage introduction ceremony. We set out in two cars. In one car were my brother, his wife, my wife and myself. I sat in front with my brother who was driving. The ladies sat at the back. In the other car were my mum and my other brothers including the one whose introduction ceremony we were going for. The car I was in was ahead of the other car which was also driven by one of my brothers. About midway into the journey, we got a call from my peeps in the other vehicle that they had hit a pothole and had a flat tyre. So they had to stop at a vulcanizer’s place to fix the tyre. We made a U-turn to find out how they were faring with the tyre repair. Shortly afterwards, we heard a rattling noise coming from the roof of the car. So my brother looked up to check what the cause of the noise was. Almost at the same moment, he looked ahead and discovered that the two vehicles in front of him had slowed down on both lanes because of a speed bump ahead. He pressed the brakes, and it went flat. He pressed and pressed in quick succession and the car wouldn’t slow down. On his left was a high pavement that ran along. Fortunately, my brother saw a little space on the right side of the road. He made a quick dart to the right and squeezed the car through that space. That action looked like something out of the movies. It was a big deliverance from what would have been a ghastly accident. We could have rammed into the rear of any of the cars ahead at a speed of about 100km/h or we could have hit the man who was standing on the road side at that moment. But we thank God for providing that way of escape for us and averting what could have been a sour chapter in a day we were to celebrate. We checked the brakes afterwards and were able to meet the rest of the family and continue on our journey.
I spent a lot of time reflecting on what happened on that trip (I guess anyone who had that experience would). One way of thinking was to say, if we hadn’t turned back to check on the rest of the family, we would not have been in that situation. We should have waited for them to fix the tyre and then proceed with the journey. But think about it this way: What if the failed brake system was a disaster waiting to happen?! What if the brake failed in an instant when there would have been no way out other than running into other cars or people or causing some major catastrophe? That could have happened. So I think God ordered our steps. He had a hand in the flat tyre. He arranged for us to turn back and made an easier way of escape out of an imminent tragedy. God ordered our deliverance. I saw a reason to give God thanks in the whole situation. Rather than have any regret, we searched out reasons to be thankful. In all things give thanks because all things work together for good for those who love God. We are usually quick to see what went wrong or what wrong steps we have taken. But it is gracious to seek out those moments God’s hands have been at work, where His mercy intervened and where we enjoyed angelic intervention. Those moments are always around us. Search for them and be grateful. God looks at a truly grateful heart and gives more reasons to that heart to be grateful. By this I mean, the more grateful we are, the more of God’s goodness we would see in our lives on a daily basis.