We no longer need the big “Mom” SUV. All our children drive and live away. But once a year, we all ride together to Florida for Thanksgiving. That’s when it is good to have generous friends who have a car lot. For the past several years, my friends have lent me a large, used SUV so we can all ride in comfort down to Florida and back.
We were trekking down I-95, making good time. We found ourselves in the five o’clock traffic in Jacksonville, but everything kept moving. I was thinking it might be time to stop for gas, but the gas gauge indicated a quarter of a tank. I thought this Tahoe gets better gas mileage than I thought.
There a place on the south side of Jacksonville where two exits are spaced very close and they are doing construction. It was at this place the Tahoe quit. I tried to crank it. It turned over, but didn’t catch. Suddenly the reason for the outstanding gas mileage became clear – the gas gauge was broken. We were out of gas.
I hit the emergency flashers, told Gina to call 911, told the girls we are not going to die, and got out to raise the hood. There was nothing to do but cause a traffic snarl and wait for a tow.
Out of nowhere, a 1983 Ford F-150 jacked up pickup swung in front of me. Out jumped a young man, about 28 I’d say, with a blue shirt that said, “Jeremiah.” He said, “Do you need a tow?” We hadn’t been there thirty seconds when the answer to our need jumps out of a truck.
I told him the gas gauge was broken and I needed to get to a gas station. He told me no problem, reached in the back of the truck and pulled out a tow rope, which is what every good working man keeps handy.
I started to get down to loop onto the frame, but he looked at me, and said, “I better do it.” He hooked us up, and off we went, swinging through five o’clock traffic in search of the nearest gas station.
When we found a station and put a bit of gas in, the Tahoe cranked right up. Jeremiah refused to take any money, and once again got on the ground to take the tow rope off. He checked to make sure everything was alright and off he went.
It all happened so fast. We looked at each other and said, “Jeremiah was sent from God.”
The name Jeremiah means “God is lifted up.” On Thanksgiving Eve, on a busy interstate, we gave thanks and lifted up God, because Jeremiah was the answer to our need, before we could even think to pray.
You don’t have to be named Jeremiah to be the answer to someone’s prayer. You just have to willing to stop.