I had a flat tire yesterday. That is only the second one I have had since Daryl and I got married. 32 years ago! So, I've been blessed. Of course, I'm talking about a flat tire on my truck. If I was talking about the lawn tractor, it would be a different flat tire story entirely. I have become proficient at using an air compressor on that crazy thing.
I was driving home on the interstate when I heard a loud roar. My first thought was to look out the windows to see if there was a semi close by. When I didn't see another truck, I thought of an airplane. I was driving along a stretch of interstate that has corn fields on either side and sometimes a crop duster will fly low making his passes over the crops. It wasn't an airplane, though, so the only other option was that it was me!
I quickly pulled off the interstate, got out and saw that one of the rear tires was as flat as a pancake. I have no idea how I didn't feel it, but I didn't. As quickly as I felt the aggravation of the circumstance, I began to feel immense gratitude and started counting my blessings.
#1. As I was pulling off the highway, I had to go around a state trooper who had someone else pulled over. He was sitting in his gray SUV, blue lights flashing from several places on his truck. Because he was there, traffic was pulling into the middle lane instead of zooming past in the lane closest to us.
#2. Daryl answered my call to him on the first ring, and without any question he left his office and came right away to change the tire. I am so grateful to him for his total willingness to help me. And I'm thankful for the 8 other people I thought of who would have dropped everything to come help me had I needed them.
#3. After the state trooper finished with the other car, he pulled up behind me. He got out to see if I needed anything and looked at the tire. When I told him that Daryl was on his way, he said that he would stay behind me so that I wouldn't get hit from behind. He even offered to help change the tire.
#4. Capital Tractor and six members of our family were only about two miles away so Daryl and I went there to pick up a bigger car jack. They gave it to us gladly and would have all jumped in the truck to help if we needed them.
#5. While Daryl was working on changing the tire I had two jobs. My first job was to read the instruction manual from my truck to find out where the tire jack was and how to release the spare. Since the trooper had moved on when we left to get the jack, my second job was to watch the traffic. This was so I could let Daryl know if we were about to die. He just wanted to know, I guess, because by the time I would have been able to see that a car was headed our way it would have been too late to get away. I was so grateful for the many, many people who changed over into the middle lane. I wanted to wave at them and blow kisses, but decided against that.
#6. The spare tire was almost flat, wouldn't you know! After it was on the truck I drove slowly to the nearest gas station. When I pulled up beside the air hose, a truck driver standing there immediately asked if I needed air and offered to put it in for me. Daryl drove up behind me, so I didn't need his help, but he offered his air gauge to us, too.
#7. It was pretty hot standing out on the side of the interstate. And even hotter for Daryl as he worked to change a tire. But, the high on Saturday is predicted to be 103. By comparison, 94 wasn't too bad.
So, on this Thursday I am thankful for the kindness of strangers and the love of family. I was shown in a living story that I am not alone.
Not even close.
And, I'm thankful to God for the way he provides and the way he protects.