The Silver Lining - Every Cloud Has It!

So, a week ago on Sunday evening, having packed my husband off for his second night shift in a row and while the children were finishing dessert and cleaning their teeth, I got a rather scary phone call.

It was from Ben, who, in short, said he'd been in a car accident. After feeling my stomach sink like a cold rock had been dropped into it and my heart pouding in my ears, I managed to ask where he was, which was only 500m from our home.

I hung up straight away and herded all the bewildered children into the car, ignoring their insistent questions, which started with, "Where are we going?", "Why do I need shoes on?", "Where is Daddy?", "Is Daddy OK?" and finally, "Dad's been in a car accident, hasn't he?". How did they know?

Ben was and still is OK. He's bumped, bruised and very shaken, but OK. The other driver received a slightly bumped nose and his car a wrecked tyre, a slightly smashed in front right panel and bent bull-bar. Ben's ute had a smashed in right hand side and buckled bonnet

The interesting part is this: with the shock of writing off his ute, we have discovered just how blessed we are! Are you puzzled?

Let me explain:

Firstly, the ute is a write-off. We are going to sell the parts. We'll get some money back on rego and save the insurance premium every month. Both of us separately, have had that sort of feather-brushing thought in the back of our minds about whether the ute was going to have something go wrong with it in the future which could have been a bigger catastrophe, so God allowed the accident to happen so that the ute couldn't be driven again, by anyone. You never know when a disaster may turn out to be a blessing in disguise!

However, this still leaves us with one car to get Ben to work and the children to school. We groaned and worried about this, until we looked at the calendar. We figure we can get a new ute after Ben finishes a five-week live-in introduction to his new course he's starting in Brisbane in late July. He won't need another car during that time. So, we have seven weeks from this week to cover our schedules with just one car until this course begins. It turns out that three of those weeks are school holidays/work holidays, so no school trips and no work trips - how cool is that!

Furthermore, get this - Ben's working mostly weekends for the next four weeks until school holidays, which means his days off are in the middle of the week - so at the most, we will have to take him to work twice a week to start at 7am and then do the run again at 7pm. That's all. Twice, when he usually has up to four shifts in a row! There is only one afternoon shift (1pm-11pm) that he'll need to do and an awesome friend has already offered to drive Ben home after it finishes. So, that's that problem solved! We were stunned when we realised!

Secondly, we knew when we saw the ute that it'd need towing. The front right-hand side was smashed in, so the engine would never run. We have zero money to pay for a towie. Zilch. Buying a house has been expensive and we're slowly, slowly crawling back with our finances! The towie said he could tow the ute up the hill to our place. And he did, charging us 1/3 of the normal fee, which is still another cost, but certainly much more affordable!

Thirdly, Ben was fined. Not for reckless driving or anything like that. It was a much lighter fine and the officer was very good about it all. So, we got off lightly there, too, with a great attitude from the police officer who attended the scene.

Fourthly, my dear husband is pretty much blind without his glasses. They were bent in the accident and then when he tried to bend them back, they broke. He can't do his job or even drive without his specs. They needed to be repaired asap. *Sigh*, we thought. 'Another expense!', we thought.Well, not if you go to Optical Warehouse. They fixed them for free. I felt like crying with relief as we walked out of the store!

Finally, in case you've not realised, it's tax time. And we are due a tax return next financial year, which will alleviate the pressure of the bills from the accident. The timing could not be better.

It has not all been pleasant. It's hard and a bit of a shock to have an accident. We have inconvenienced another person and his family. It was hard for us to go through. I wouldn't choose to do it again.

But God has looked after us and everything that major that could have been really expensive and really traumatic has turned out not too bad. We will survive - we believe that God allowed this to happen. Why? We will never, ever know.

We have a choice - to grump and groan about how hard it's going to be to recover from it, both personally and financially.........or we can choose to thank God for the provision of cheaper towing, cheaper fine, refunds on rego, broken glasses fixed for free and the generous offer of help with transport, all around tax time when a handy tax return will be in our account in early July.

So, with this sort of testimony comes the inevitable question, mostly from people who aren't christians: "That's great for you, you've been blessed - why are others not so blessed? Why have other people died or been seriously injured or hurt in car accidents?". We have a choice in life to either live the way God wants us to and to put Him in charge of everything we do, everything we own and even our own lives. We have allowed God to be in charge of us - all that we have and all that we own. That means that we do things His way rather than our own.

God says to obey the laws of your government as much as they're in line with His laws. So, christians are expected to obey the road rules and think of others whilst driving. We are all given a choice and when we step outside His will and disobey His laws, yes, innocent people get hurt and yes, some die. And sometimes, tragically, we will never understand why God allows accidents to occur where no one appears to be at fault.

We choose to believe that there is a reason why the ute is written off - maybe there was something about to go massively wrong and it was about to happen on the Warrego Highway, which Ben travels on to get to work? Who knows? And here is where the difference lies - do you choose to be angry at God and blame Him for all that's gone wrong, or do you choose to thank Him for even the smallest blessings He's poured out on you, despite the trama?

That is the difference - your attitude and how you deal with adversity.

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