A few years ago the Reese family was living in Tecumseh, Nebraska. Naomi Reese’s father was a Bible Story salesman at the time who sold Christian books to people in the six southeastern counties of that state. Her family’s car was in need of repair at the because it had quit going in reverse. Because of this Mr. and Mrs. Reese had to be careful where they parked and drove their vehicle. One rainy Saturday afternoon the family decided to visit some new Christians who had kids about Naomi and her brother Nathanael’s age. As they drove past the farm they noticed the Shaws weren’t home. As Mr. Reese continued to drive down the country road he soon found that the gravel on this lane ended rather abruptly.
Anyone who has ever driven the country roads in Nebraska can attest to the fact that your vehicle is going to get bogged down in a hurry on a muddy road that isn’t paved or graveled. Naomi wondered what her father would do. She knew that he couldn’t back up the car.
If her father didn’t keep driving she knew the car would sink into the muck. in a matter of seconds; so onward her father drove farther and farther out into the country. He was looking for a crossroad that was paved or even graveled
“Daddy, the back of the car is zigzagging back and forth!” Naomi alerted her father.
Naomi noticed her mother was looking over the map of this area to see how far they would have to travel until they reached a good crossroads.
“Honey, you’re not going to believe this, but the next crossroad is at the end of this six mile stretch!” she exclaimed.
“Daddy, the car is still zigzagging!” Naomi warned her father once more as the Plymouth fishtailed through the muddy mire.
She was starting to get scared when Naomi heard her mother say, “Children, let’s talk to Jesus.”
Naomi’s mother then prayed, “Dear Jesus, please send your angels. And help us to get our car to the paved road. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
“Dad, why didn’t you close your eyes during prayer?” asked Naomi.
“Because I had to see where the angels were taking us, Naomi,” her father answered.
“Well then, why did Mom have her eyes open during prayer?”
“Naomi, how did you know my eyes were open?” asked Mrs. Reese.
At that Naomi slowly grew silent. Everyone else grew rather silent too. Each member of the family was deeply engrossed in their own thoughts and prayers as the sedan careened back and forth on the muddy road. The only sound they could hear other than their hearts beating rather frantically, was the sound of mud splattering up underneath the fender wells and floor boards. Because the car was zigzagging back and forth Naomi was very glad there weren’t any other cars on the road that day!
Finally, the family had only one mile to go. That was when Naomi noticed that there was a hill at the end of that last mile before her family would be able to get out onto the paved road. Evidently, her father had noticed the obstacle looming on the horizon and was preparing to climb the hill by pressing a little more on the accelerator. However, about half way up mountain of mud the car bogged down to its axles and the family was stuck on an old muddy road, miles from nowhere.
Naomi and her family just sat there, in the middle of the road, and thought about the wild ride they’d just taken. They had come so far, but this seemed like the end of the road for them. They were so close. According to the map, the paved road would cross the muddy lane they were on in about a quarter of a mile. The family all bowed their heads as Naomi’s father prayed about their situation.
This time, everyone, including Naomi, closed their eyes during prayer. After prayer Naomi’s father got out of the car, while Naomi’s mother scooted over into the driver’s seat.
As Naomi’s father walked to the back of the car she heard her father call out to her mother, “If by some miracle you do get the car moving, don’t worry about me. Just keep going until you’re on solid ground!”
Naomi then looked back to see her father stooping to tie his shoe. As he did so he called out, “Just wait till I yell, GO!”
It was at that point that Naomi noticed a strange thing. Evidently, her mother had thought that her father had just yelled the words, “GO!” But her father was still tying his untied shoe. Then out of nowhere two men walked past the car and started pushing the vehicle up the hill. Naomi looked back and saw her father running to join the men in pushing the vehicle up the muddy hill. Eventually, the three of them were able to get the car to the paved crossroads. Once there Naomi watched as her father got back in the car. She thought it odd that he didn’t even take time to thank the two strangers that had helped him push.
“Dad, why didn’t you thank those two men?” questioned Naomi.
“What two men?” asked her father.
“The two men who helped you push the car out of the mud,” answered Naomi as she turned to point at the two individuals who had helped them out of their dilemma. But when Naomi looked back to point the men out, all she could see was the bleak Nebraska countryside.
Her father then looked back at Naomi with a questioning look. He then looked at his wife.
“Did you see anyone helping me push the car out of the mud?” Mr. Reese questioned his wife.
“No, Dear,” she responded.
“I didn’t see anyone either,” Nathanael stated.
Naomi then thought back to her mother’s prayer, “Dear Jesus, please send your angels.”
“Mom, you prayed for God to send His angels. Do you think I saw them?” she asked.
“Maybe you did, Naomi,” her mother nodded.
Her father added, “Naomi, I don’t think you were seeing things. When your mom started driving the car out of the mud I was still tying my shoe. As deep in the mud as we were, I don’t see how else she could have just driven the car out of that mess.”
That night at worship Naomi’s father prayed, “Dear God, thank you for sending your angels today. Thank you for keeping us safe from danger.”
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