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  • Pastoral Staff

Bad Day, Good God

The day started at 3 in the morning on August 8th, 2019. This was one of my close friend's birthday's that I was going to miss because I was leaving for college. So I got up at three which wasn't all that great because I hadn't fallen asleep until around 1 or so because I was dreading leaving my best friend, Rocky Balboa Pappan.

A few of my friends and family gathered to send me off. I hugged my friends, no tears. I hugged my sister, she cried but not me. I hugged my mom, and she held it in until I left. But the moment I got to my dog to say goodbye they came out. Man, I just lost it for a second and I hate crying.

But I was following God's will and sometimes that's not an easy task. So I wiped my tears away, got in the car, and headed out on the road. About an hour in, it started to pour so hard that I couldn't see where the lines were on the road. But I kept going.

Every few hours I was taking caffeine pills because I was so tired which was not a good idea. The only food that I had were a few peanut butter sandwiches that went bad about 8 hours in. And about that time, my stomach was starting to hurt. It felt kinda like someone had grabbed it from behind and every so often would punch it with their other hand.

Then I drove through a ghetto near Gary Indiana (one of the most dangerous places in the USA). Then I got on a six-lane highway for the first time in my life. And before this, my highway driving experience was driving to Wichita 6 times and driving to Alabama once. So it was very intimidating. On top of being nervous, missing my dog Rocky, my Stomach feeling like the really Rocky Balboa was swinging at it, and the newfound headache and dizziness that I was feeling, I wasn't having the great time that I thought I would.

About an hour later was when the real fun started. I got off the 6 lane death toll road and made it to a normal two laner. I was about to head off onto an exit where it would be a straight drive for another hour and a half and I would be there. But my car stopped. No warning, no nothing. It just stopped. So I steered with aggressiveness since there was no more power steering over to the side of the road. I popped my flashers on.

I didn't know what to do so I called Patrick Shannon since he had helped me work on the car that summer. He told me a few things to try but none of them worked. We came to the conclusion that I might be out of gas. It ended up not being that. So I walked a mile to the closes gas station in 100-degree heat. Paid like 20 bucks for a flimsy 1-gallon tank and then filled it with gas and walked the mile back to find my car still wouldn't start.

So I accepted the loss, called a tow truck. A guy that smelled like pickles and cigarettes picked me up. He dropped my car off at a place that had just closed, left me with a bill of $200 dollars, and the only place close that was open was a bar. So I went in ordered a water and a grilled cheese sandwich.

As I was waiting for my family friends to come pick me up, all I wanted to do was cry. At times, I even left my table to go to the bathroom and cry. If I hadn't done that, I would have cried when Bill came in and hugged me.

We got in the car and in the backseat on the hour and a half drive, I thought I was dying. My head felt like it was going to explode. My stomach felt like it was constantly getting punched. But we made it back without me dying and without me throwing up. I slept on my side in fear that I would throw up in the middle of the night and choke on it.

Now, I remember praying before going to bed. When I pray, I always thank God for something that he has done for me that day. As I sat there really thinking that I was going to die that night, it was hard to find one. Now, on this day, I thank him for saving me. You see, taking way too many cafieen pills on less than two hours of sleep and an empty stomach was not a good idea. I was dizzy, had a headache, and my stomach was in the ninth round of a boxing match. That extra 70 miles could have killed me. Who knows what would have happened. I truly believe that God stopped my car from working right when it needed to happen to save me. Now I thank him for that. That day though, I thanked him for the friends he put in my life to help me that day.

My point after this very long story is that no matter what happens to you on any day, there is always something that God is doing that deserves your thanks. No matter what. Psalm 100:4-5 says, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” God deserves all that thanks; for the good, the bad, and the ugly. I thank him for those trials that he put me through and all the ones that are coming my way. God is great. Thank him each day. Thank him for all of it.

With love,

Intern Pastor Jc Pappan

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