The Big Bounce

For the Lord spake thus to me
with a strong hand. . . .

          — Isaiah 8:11a


Have you ever had a frightening, near-death experience? Been saved from tragedy by an amazing coincidence that seemed supernatural?


Some people would say those are just lucky breaks. But some of us know better. Your heart pounds, you grin, you look skyward, and you whisper, “Thank You, Jesus!”


Things like that happen so fast. But that’s what miracles are like. They’re when God speaks to us “with a strong hand.” Things look bleak, but the resolution is so amazing, incredible, and most of all, GOOD, that you just KNOW it was “a God thing.”


Maybe you have to live through a miracle to fully appreciate them. Mine wasn’t exactly spectacular. But it was wacky and unexpected, and pulled me closer to God. So I guess that qualifies.


See, I was driving west to the next city over, Lincoln, Neb., for probably the four squillionth time. I knew the road well. The Interstate was dry that winter’s day. The skies were sunny. I was going to see my good friend and Christian mentor. I had some tunes cranked up loud, enjoying the solitude . . .


. . . when suddenly, from across the median in the east-bound Interstate lanes, I saw a giant triple truck lose a giant tire.


It bounced once, high, in the median . . .


. . . and bounced high again, COMING RIGHT TOWARD ME!!!


Talk about a nerd: did I fear for my life? No. Did I think of my family? No.


I beat myself up for avoiding all the “hard” courses in school, like physics. If I had taken it, I might have consolation in knowledge of probability and statistics, trajectories, E=mc2 . . . .


No matter what they tell you, ignorance is NOT bliss.


As my eyes bugged out of my head watching that tire bounce right toward me, about to squash me into Flat Susan, my fuzzed-over and science-and-math-less brain rapidly puzzled out one major emergency question:


At that arc, that oncoming speed and that distance away, would its next bounce come down right on top of me? Or would it bounce over me?


Should I speed up? Or slam on the brakes?


It was a Murphy’s Law kind of situation. I had only a split-second to react. Slack-jawed, I gaped with dread at the oncoming tire. It was reaching the top of its latest arc and about ready to come down on my side of the Interstate.




Let’s see . . . if I stomped on the accelerator, I’d probably accelerate myself to the EXACT SPOT where that six-foot heavy tire was going to bounce next.


If I threw on the brakes, though, no doubt I’d be right under it when it landed.




Frozen, helpless, I did what I do best:




I just kept driving and braced myself for FINAL IMPACT. (Hmm. Wasn’t there a movie named that?)


At least I didn’t curse. I wish I could say in my final moment that I prayed for world peace, a cure for cancer, and a much-improved defensive secondary for the Huskers. But nooooo.


All I could eke out for my last breath on Earth was:




That’s it?!?


That’s your legacy?


That’s what you want engraved on your tombstone?




That totally lame and worthless last word is why the Lord spared me. He took pity.


As I watched, still slack-jawed and white-knuckling the steering wheel, that truck tire bounced right in front of my car, sailed over my car, and then bounced behind my car one more time.


My rear-view mirror disclosed that it careened into the ditch by the side of the road, rolled a little while further, then circled harmlessly and fell to the ground. PLOP!


As soon as I returned my gaze to the road ahead, I saw a homely little hand-painted sign on a farm fencepost off to the right. It said:




Tears filled my eyes. Emotion choked my throat. I looked skyward once again, happy to see no oncoming truck tires.


You bet you can trust Jesus. Why did I even worry? In the adrenaline rush, I whispered wobbily, “Thank You!”


I didn’t see a “strong hand” come down from the sky and whisk that tire out of my way. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.


You know, in our lives, there are going to be all kinds of surprises that act just like unpredictable bouncing truck tires that suddenly and inexplicably rumble into our path, threatening our very lives. Risk is everywhere. Daily, we need miracles to survive.


But that’s OK. Because we’ve got a totally trustworthy navigator on our side . . . and miracles are His middle name. †

By Susan Darst Williams | | Deliverance | © 2020