I truly stand all amazed at the love that the Savior offers me. I stand as a living witness and bear my testimony that the tender mercies of the Lord are available to each of us at any given time. I am also a witness that He shows forth those tender mercies in diverse ways.
In mid-January 2015, I decided to turn on the weather report while preparing to go to work as it had been snowing since the latter part of the previous evening. After watching the weather report that morning, I debated whether or not I should chance driving what normally is a 35-minute drive to work given the snowy and icy road conditions. I went out and cleaned off my car and decided to take the chance.
As I started off to work, I became a little concerned because none of the roads were plowed, and because it had been snowing for a few hours, it was difficult to judge where the lines were. I used the tire tracks in front of me as a guide and was able to navigate without too many problems.
I made it about half way to work that morning and felt confident that I could make it the rest of the way, when suddenly I hit a patch of black ice and spun out of control. At one point, the car ended up in the wrong lane headed into oncoming traffic. By the grace of the Lord, although I came very close to running head on into a few cars, I never hit a single one. That was miracle number one.
I panicked at that point and tried my best to get the car back to the right side of the road, but to no avail. Again, only by the grace of the Lord was I able to get out of oncoming traffic and back to the right side of the road without hitting anyone or anything. That was miracle number two.
Because of the snowy and icy conditions that morning, once the car was back on the right side of the road, I hit another patch of black ice and the car slid off the road into a wooded area. It finally came to rest in between two trees without touching either of the trees. That was miracle number three.
I was a bit shaken but was able to get out of the car and called my manager to let her know what had happened. I then called the police and then for a tow truck. Four different police officers came by that morning to see if I were alright and if I had called a tow truck. They each looked at me, and looked at my car and said, “You do realize that if you had been an inch more on either side, this whole scenario could very well have ended differently.” They also reminded me that there had been many accidents that morning and some people were not as fortunate.
I admit that not only was I upset because of what had just happened, but at first I was mad because I had just spent a lot of money getting the car repaired. My initial thoughts were how I was going to afford to have more repairs done, or worse, how could I afford a new car. However, after looking at the scene more closely, I began to shift my focus, and began to thank my Heavenly Father for sparing my life and the lives of others who could have been victims of the accident.
Because of all of the accidents that had occurred that morning, the towing company told me that it would be an hour or more before they could get a truck to my location. As I stood out in the snow and cold waiting for the tow truck, a complete stranger (an angel unaware) came by and offered to let me sit in his warm truck. I told him that I would be OK, and that I did not want to hold him up, but he insisted and said that he would just call his boss and tell him he would be late because of the weather. That was miracle number four.
When the tow truck finally arrived, the driver looked at where my car was and told me that he might not be able to get the car out. My heart sank again. As I sat inside the cab of his truck, I began to pray for God to help him get my car out. In a little less than an hour, he was able to pull the car back to the road. I asked him if he would take me to the nearest body shop, and much to my surprise, he said that there was no need for that. He told me that as long as I drove slow, I could drive to the shop myself. That was miracle number five. I asked him where the nearest shop was, and it turned out that it was less than 10 minutes down the road from where I was. That was miracle number six.
I made it to the shop and called my insurance company. They told me that they would have a claims adjuster out to take a look at the car in the next day or so. I then called the car rental company and was able to obtain a rental car. A few days later I received a telephone call from the insurance claims adjuster. He informed me that my car was totaled. In retrospect, although the news was disheartening, the fact is that the car was old (1999 Nissan Altima that I purchased new) and needed replacing. A co-worker suggested that I contact her agent at a car dealership and that is when miracle number seven occurred. The Lord blessed me with the financing that I needed to get a new car, and in place of the 1999 vehicle which was totaled, He blessed me to be able to drive home in a newer 2012 vehicle.
What could have ended in the loss of my life, or even the lives of others, was turned to good all because of the tender mercies of the Lord. That is why I am a firm believer that nothing in this life happens per chance or as a coincidence. There are a time and a purpose for all things. I also know of a surety and do so testify that God encamps His angels all around us and His tender mercies are over all His works. I also bear my testimony that God lives and Jesus is the Christ and I shall forever be grateful for His love, His grace, and His tender mercies.
Keith L. Brown is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been born and raised Baptist. He was studying to be a Baptist minister at the time of his conversion to the LDS faith. He was baptized on 10 March 1998 in Reykjavik, Iceland while serving on active duty in the United States Navy in Keflavik, Iceland. He currently serves as the First Assistant to the High Priest Group and Ward Missionary for the Annapolis, Maryland Ward. He also serves as a Stake Public Affairs Specialist for the Annapolis, Maryland Stake. He is a 30-year honorably retired Navy veteran.