My whole life has been a life chock full of miracles. Why? I’m just an ordinary man, yet God has favored me with endless miracles throughout my life. He may just do the same for you.
In searching for a title for my book (248-page manuscript), I thought it would only be right to give credit where credit is due. God has undoubtedly been watching over me and working miracles in my life from the time I was born a premature child to a 17-year-old mother. (The doctor had asked my parents who to let survive, and she chose to let me live, taking her chances with an operation.) I guess you could say that was the first miracle in my life.
Both of my parents were handsome, intelligent, clean, and hard-working individuals, but they were working-class people. Dad was a welder, and mom was a nurse’s aide. As for me, I was always an avid reader. I was a good kid – obedient and dutiful – thanks to my strict upbringing.
But there was nothing to indicate that my life would be exceptional in any significant way. Yet, with God’s help, I was able to reach and mingle with the stars. By stars, I mean movie stars and other top achievers. Today I write to encourage others and do artwork to enhance others’ lives as a hobby.
In telling this story, I want to encourage others that God can work miracles in your life, too – if you give Him a chance. Nothing is too hard for our Creator.
“Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.'” (Mark 9:23).
Besides having survived a drowning (In which I saw my life events unfold before my mind’s eye like a motion picture) and three vicious beatings that should have killed me, I will relate a miracle that happened on a lonely stretch of highway through the Arizona desert in the late summer at night.
The vehicle I was driving was an older van whose rings were badly worn. My brother-in-law Pauly, a master mechanic, warned me that I shouldn’t attempt the trek from Jamestown, North Dakota, to Hollywood, California, without first replacing the rings on the van. But since I was determined to set out right away, he cautioned that I should always keep a couple of quarts of thirty-weight, non-detergent oil on hand just in case. And after giving me what oil he had on hand, we said our goodbyes.
I was a relatively new Christian and felt that I could really do all things through Christ who strengthened me and was willing to undertake anything. Some people would say I was young and foolish, even reckless. But since I was always able to overcome all previous obstacles, I felt capable of meeting any challenge – besides, who wants to live a humdrum life?
Having always been adventuresome, rough, and ready, we took a secondary road through the desert in Arizona. The plateaus, smaller mesas, and huge cactus spires were awe-inspiring. But the van ran out of oil as the viscosity of the oil broke down in the summer heat. It ran like water through the worn rings as the last sign said 60 miles to the next gas station.
Luckily, it was beginning to get dark, and soon the day would be cooling down. Nevertheless, the oil gauge on the old van began rising, it was beginning to register hot, and we were out of the oil that was given to us. I babied the vehicle and stopped every so often, but finally, I pulled over one last time. I knew the old van would soon stop on its own if I didn’t.
It was dark, and there were millions of stars out in the black blanket of the sky. Silence also enveloped us as we sat in the vehicle and prayed.
We hadn’t seen another vehicle for hours, and now we were out in the middle of the desert alone. Time seemed to stand still, but, in reality, we had only been there for less than twenty minutes.
God was at work, pulling things together to rescue us.
Looking up into the rearview mirror, I saw a pinpoint of light coming our way, and it took a while for us to hear the air brakes on the ten-wheeler as it pulled up behind us.
I quickly jumped out of the van and went over to the cab of the tractor-trailer just as the man was rolling down the window. “Are you alright?” the big middle-aged man asked.
“How far to the nearest gas station?” I asked sheepishly.
“Oh, about forty miles or so. What seems to be your problem?”
“I ran out of oil and can’t go any further.”
“What kind of oil do you need?”
“Thirty weight, non-detergent; the rings are bad, and that is the only oil that will stand up to the heat in the desert.”
“You’re in luck; I just happen to have a full case of thirty-weight, non-detergent under the seat that you can have.”
I offered to pay the man, but he insisted that I take it as a gift. He loaded it in the back of the van, wished us well, and left.
God sighed a sigh of relief, shook his head, and laughed, ‘Jimmie boy is sure a handful.’ The angels shook their heads in unison and took flight to help another human being not far away.
We were good to go now and traveled as far as we could in the coolness of the night. There was a roadside park before you enter Los Angeles about sixty miles away. We stopped to rest in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains. It was about three in the morning, and we had no sooner laid down in the van to get some much-needed sleep when we heard the rumble of motorcycles and the drunken laughter of a motorcycle gang. Pretty soon, the hard rock music began, but we were too tired to care. Leaving it all in God’s hands, we quickly went to sleep.
Call on God in your time of trouble, and He will answer (see Psalm 50:15).