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Jesus take the Wheel

July 25, 2014

It was a warm July evening and Prionda Hill was driving down the road in Fort Wayne, Indiana when, in her own words, “…out of nowhere God told [me] that he would take it from here and [I] let go of the wheel and let him take it.”  If that is the case, then it seems as if God decided to run over Anthony Oliveri who was riding along on his motorcycle.

Oddly enough, Oliveri then seemed to have a conversation with God too.    In his words: “I remember it happened and I didn’t quite know what was going on for a split second.  As I grabbed the handle bars as the bike was losing control and I looked back around my left shoulder, all I see is her tire and the left bumper getting ready to run my face over. Literally I was inches from that bumper and I just said to myself today is the day I die. I just shut my eyes and said if this is the way that God wants to do it then I guess that this is the way we’re going to do it.”

As it happens, Oliveri didn’t have his face run over, only his chest, and he survived, albeit with broken ribs and other injuries.  But the alleged work of God went on.  At the hospital it was noted that “When he came into the emergency room, the bruise on the top of his back was shaped like a heart. When we got him up to his room, his bruise on his back, and even now, is shaped like angel wings. Even the nurses said that. His guardian angel was watching over him, and she gave him her wings.”  One presumes this (female) guardian angel was acting on orders from God and it had been determined that heart-shaped and angel wing-shaped bruises were therefore appropriate.

Now, less you assume I am making this up; here is the link to the story.

I don’t know whether you want to laugh, cry or shake your head about that story but, however bizarre, it is an illustration of something that almost all of us do; reading God into a situation.  As evangelicals we are told that God is always behind everything and it is almost our default setting to see events as God things.  And perhaps they are.  The only problem is our utter incapacity to figure out what God is doing.

In this case my theology hardwires me to believe that God probably didn’t tell Hill to let go of the wheel.  He may perhaps have given Oliveri peace.  After all, Oliveri did say that he was “ecstatic” to find out he was still alive after being run over; even if he determined that because he was in extreme pain.  Regarding the angel bruises I am thinking, no that is probably like those people that see the face of Jesus in a grilled cheese sandwich.  But can I prove any of those things?  Nope.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t doubt God or doubt he is interested in the smallest details of our lives.  I do doubt that I can ever say with certainty just what God is doing at any given time.  Right now the wife of a good friend is dealing with a rapidly advancing brain tumor.  She has gone from seemingly healthy to having less than six months to live in a matter of weeks.  I haven’t a clue as to what God is doing and why.

Years ago in Sri Lanka the police opened fire with an AK-47 on a van my wife and I were in.  In a case of mistaken vehicular identity they thought we were the terrorists they had been hunting.  The van was left bullet-riddled, we didn’t have a scratch.  (They did apologize for doing it though.)  Did God save us?  If so, why?  Does it mean he had some sort of plan for us?  And if so, what is that plan?  And why did he not save missionary friends in Colombia who were in a similar situation and the wife was killed? 

Our nature as believers is to see God in everything, to explain things in God-terms, and at times to tell ourselves that God is in control when the world seems so out of control that it leaves us hurting and bewildered. 

For me I’ve begun to think that when life goes awry, or for that matter when life goes well, the question I need to ask is not “Why?” but “Who?”  Who am I going to cling to when the storms of life hit?  I just don’t have what it takes to figure out the why question so I guess I will just cling to Jesus.

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From → Christianity

One Comment
  1. Calvin took a number of verses from the Bible and came up with various doctrines, this “Everything in your life has been predetermined and ordained of God” being one of them. I’ve had some interesting discussions with people who adhere to this thinking. “Does God preordain murders and abortion (or the immorality that leads to unwanted pregnancies)?” and “Did God preordain that my niece be sexually abused as a child and die at age 16 as a result?”

    I don’t buy it.

    I know God does intervene–miraculously at times and especially in the lives of His children– but it seems He has set this earth in motion and basically lets people continue on the courses they choose, with predictable consequences. A good friend of mine had an affair with a married man and had an abortion; later when she wanted to have children she found she couldn’t — a result of the abortion. God could have had the fellow drop dead of a heart attack before the involvement, thus sparing future heartaches. But He didn’t — which doesn’t mean He planned it all.

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