I was once asked, “how do you know that there’s a living God?” My answer was that when you’ve experienced the living God, you know… as you know… as you know that He is real. He is evident and present.
I remember describing to this young man an incident that I had in 1994. I was engaged to my now husband, and my mother, myself and a friend were on our way to go look at a boat that I could potentially be married to him on. We were driving on a five-lane highway in Los Angeles in the fast lane traveling at approximately 70 miles an hour. When I looked in my rearview mirror, I saw a black car speeding up behind me. He was driving so fast, I realized I didn’t have time to change lanes and knew if I moved and he swerved, he would hit me. I remember thinking, “If I just stay in this lane, he will go around us and we will be fine.” It appeared that way for a few moments as he came from behind me to pass. As he pulled up in the lane beside me, it seemed he would pass quickly—unfortunately, not completely. In a movement similar to an auto racing video game, he approached the front of my car and attempted to cut back in front of me, yet he swerved over too swiftly. He clipped the front of my car and immediately we went spinning. My life would flash before my eyes… but several times.
This is because I would come head on with seven different cars as I traveled, spinning time and time again across a freeway of five lanes. We were hit multiple times on all sides. Those cars would include a van and two trucks that I would bounce off like we were in a pinball machine. Each and every time we would get hit by a car I can remember thinking, “this has got to be it.” As we eventually came to a stop on the side of the road, the car was a smoking shell of itself, completely totaled. The three of us were in shock and shook up.
I remember looking at my mom and my friend in a total panic, wondering if they were OK…
You see that morning while I was preparing to go on this trip, I heard a small voice say, “Put the plastic mail crates in the back of the car.” It was kind of strange because it was a Saturday and I didn’t need the crates until Monday upon returning to work. However, I just did it, thinking that at least this way I won’t forget them. On this particular trip, my friend was laying in the back of the vehicle because at the time I drove a two-seated car with no back seat. When we got in this accident, she was laying in the back, without a seatbelt, bunched between our front seats and the mail crates. It was listening to the instruction of the Holy Spirit that morning and putting those mail crates in the car that would end up saving her life.
As we spun around on that freeway and the car became a mangled mess, damaged metal from the car being continuously hit would pierce the plastic mail crates… but not her body. In fact, all three of us were taken away in an ambulance, but we all walked away with only bumps and bruises.
How was it possible that three people in a tiny tin can of a car (and one with no seatbelt) could all walk away from being hit by seven vehicles, multiple times head-on, spinning across a five lane highway full of speeding 70mph traffic, exit a car that was crumpled up like a tinfoil ball and walk away unscathed?
I will tell you how; the grace and hand of Jesus! I knew right then and there that God was real and I had experienced Him that day for myself. If I had ever doubted before, I knew the hand of God was on me that day.
So as this man asked me, “how do you know God is real?” I replied, “I know, as I know, as I know… that if it wasn’t for the grace of God, I would not be alive today!