Psalm 91 (KJV), “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.”
I met a woman named Bea. She was from Jamaica. She was a member of a local Baptist church we visited when we were in the Port Charlotte, Florida area.
I quickly learned to love this woman in the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. We became good friends. She welcomed my family to visit her at her home. I think she brought flowers to our church a lot. She invited me to sing a duet with her at church. This wonderful woman spent a lot of time trying to keep me involved in her life. I appreciate all she did for me.
One day when we visited her home she told me she read Psalm 91 every night. I decided I would concentrate on reading Psalm 91 for a time.
The children living at my home at that time were going to be riding with me on a trip that would last more than a thousand miles one way. We woke up early on the morning our adventure was to begin. I sat down to read Psalm 91 to the children in the form of a prayer. We asked God to protect us.
We left Port Charlotte by entering Interstate 75 going North. We left early in the morning hoping to get out of the State of Florida on the first day of driving. I had three children traveling with me. Two of the children had fallen asleep.
There was some sort of construction going on on the Interstate. Traffic was flowing a bit slower than usual but the traffic lanes were full . A feeling of grogginess came upon me. The next thing I recall is seeing a peace filled vision of the road lined with trees that cast a shadow on the lane I was traveling in then I was awakened and the car started to go off of the left side of the road. I jerked the steering column to the right to bring the automobile back towards the lane I wanted to stay in and the steering column stuck in one position. The direction the car was now going could not be stopped. I knew that I was in the left lane and I would be crossing two lanes that had full traffic before my car would end up in a ditch at the side of the road IF none of the cars traveling beside our vehicle hit us on the way to the ditch.
I was helpless. I eventually guessed that I must have fallen asleep at the wheel. This had not happened to me before and I hope it never happens again. I remember a feeling of resignation coming forth. That steering wheel was fixed in one position and I could not change it. The car continued to go toward the ditch. I almost felt as though I better scrunch up because surely one of the cars traveling beside our auto was going to hit us.
Our automobile crossed one lane and I heard a passing car go by without hitting us. Our automobile crossed the last lane and once again a passing auto went by us without hitting us. I saw a pole of some sort along the road. It looked as though we would probably hit that pole. There was also a drop off at the edge of the Interstate because of the construction.
All the children were awake now! One of them asked me what I was doing. HA!! I guess they didn’t realize that I no longer had any control over the way the car moved. I wasn’t able to do anything. I was privately talking to the Lord about the situation.
I remember feeling very bad about what was occurring. I sincerely did not want anyone to be harmed because of my actions. I still wasn’t exactly sure what happened but the only logical explanation was that I must have gone to sleep while I was driving. My heart ached that anyone may get harmed by this incident.
The car fell down into the ditch like area and there we sat. I was stunned.
Here is a rundown of what happened:
- I woke up before our auto crossed the interstate to hit Southbound autos.
- The autos driving beside us did not slam into our auto when we were traveling right in front of them.
- We missed crasshing into an object that looked like some sort of pole. It was in our path at the side of the road.
- Our auto stopped without damaging anyone or anything.
I knew I had to get back on the Interstate. I was shaken up but I understood that if my auto was still working properly we couldn’t just sit there at the edge of the Interstate. Getting back on the road wasn’t going to be easy because there was no shoulder along the lane due to construction. My car wasn’t ready to run because I was sort of stuck in a slanted ditch. Prayer was still going up to the Lord. I asked God to send me helpers. People didn’t have cell phones in almost every car during the early 90s. I totally relied on God to help me get out of that mess.
Two men that came from two different autos found a way to get to us. I don’t know where they parked their automobiles. One of those men was eager to help us get on our way. The other man seemed hesitant and he seemed a bit angry. I thought he was angry at me for some reason. I didn’t have enough time to be angry at myself. I had to get that car to a safe place.
The man that was extra kind and calm encouraged the other man to help him give the car some assistance while I tried to get the auto to move again. It was a bit confusing because I didn’t know where to drive the car in order to prepare to get back on the road.
I remember being so confused about everything that when I did pray for the men that were helping give the auto a boost I asked God to give those men the strength of Solomon instead of asking for the strength of Samson. Yes, I had asked for one thing while meaning to pray for another thing. God is never confused. God read my heart. God did not simply hear my prayer he answered my prayer perfectly.
God gave the men the strength needed to help me get the auto moving. The men quickly went on their way even though I think that one man wanted me to get a citation or something.
Maybe he wouldn’t have been so angry and ready to see that I was punished if he had known how I changed after that happened. I already tried to be extra cautious but that incident kept me trying extra hard to keep from driving super early in the morning. It was not normal for me to get up at 2 or 3AM back then so it didn’t make good sense for me to start out driving at that time. I began to stop at motels more often. I believe you don’t have to leave real early in the morning just to start before everyone else starts. If it’s going to make someone worn out to leave earlier than usual it seems wiser to leave after you’ve had plenty of rest.
The traffic was flowing heavier than it had been but I was able to get back on the road. I got off at the next exit ramp. Our automobile was stopped now but I wasn’t sure I wanted to drive again. I called family members to let them know what had happened. I wanted to run back home because it was closer than going the other way. My family started praying for me. I gained the courage to get behind the wheel of the car again.
I had traveled about 200 miles and there was a plan to drive another 900 miles. Things had changed for me though. I was going to get out of the car to stretch my legs more often and I was stopping at a motel whenever necessary. It did not matter if I had to stop more times than everyone else claimed they had to stop.
The pressure to drive as fast as everyone else and the motivation to delcare how fast you got to your destination was no longer working in me as strong as it had in the past. My new plan was to do the best I could to keep everyone safe no matter how long it took to achieve my goal. It’s not necessarily the popular way to travel but it’s my favorite way to use the roads now that I’ve changed.
We ended up being in the car for more than 2200 miles during that vacation. I kept telling people how God saved us from harm. He also helped me overcome the fear of driving after I had gone off the road.
When we returned to Port Charlotte I was sure to tell our local church family how we prayed aloud thinking of Psalm 91 before we left on our journey. I would also tell them that God heard our prayers by keeping us from getting harmed on the Interstate that day.
My friend, Bea, had been used by God to help me appreciate Psalms 91.
God protects us.
Elizabeth Evans Wolfe