Do Not Go to Detroit

John 16:13 "But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come."

March 14, 1995 will be a date my family will never forget.

I didn't know the Lord very well in those days, though I thought I did, but when I went to bed on the night of the 13th, I was overcome with a deep conviction that the trip we had planned for the morrow, to Detroit, Michigan, was completely wrong!

I tried to ignore it, but I heard a voice in my inner being: "Don't go to Detroit. You will have a terrible accident, but no one will be hurt."

Was I becoming insane? What was that voice that I heard? Was I starting to talk to myself? It bothered me the entire night, and in the morning, I told my wife about it. Her response? "Oh! You're just trying to get out of the trip! You NEVER want to go anywhere!" Well, it was partially true that I don't like driving long distances, and her reaction helped me to convince myself that my imagination had been working overtime.

It was about mid-afternoon when it happened. We had already covered over half of the route and were currently just a few kilometers outside of London, Ontario, when the words came vividly back to mind: "You will have a terrible accident, but no one will be hurt."

"How stupid!" I mused. "It's a beautiful, sunny day. There is no way we can be in an accident!"

But no sooner had those words been spoken that three deer emerged from the woods to my right. I was passing a car, but having had previous experience with deer on the road, I tried to slow down. It was too late, however, for one of them had already darted onto the roadway. Before I knew it, it was right in front of me. With a car to my right and a ditch to my left, changing lanes was not an option, and I hit the deer head on. It rolled up onto the hood and banged against the windshield, just in front of the passenger seat, where my wife had just woken up from a nap. Then it bounced up onto the roof off the car and was gone. The windshield was shattered, the front end of the car was completely smashed, and the engine stopped, but our vehicle was still rolling. It was all I could do to pull the car safely onto the left shoulder.

Having been in the driver seat, away from the full impact of the deer's body, I was free of glass. My 2 year-old, who had been strapped into his car seat behind the me, was screaming out of fear, and frantically rubbing his hands all over his face. But miraculously, there wasn't any glass on him, so all of his rubbing and screaming didn't result in any scratches. My wife and 1 month-old baby didn't make out so well, however. My wife was covered with glass shards, which she tried to pick off carefully so as to not be cut. The baby was covered from head to toe with glass shards; but most notably, his little eyelids were literally caked with them. He had been asleep when the calamity struck, and somehow, despite all the noise and commotion, he slept on. This was a real blessing, for had he awoken, he would surely have rubbed his little eyes and could have seriously cut himself.

A truck stopped on the side of the road and called for help, then the driver invited my children and my wife into his cab, where he tried to amuse my 2 year-old with pudding and treats. But what should we do about our baby? We had taken him out of the car and although he was sleeping, he was still covered with glass. If he woke up, he would scratch himself to death, and if we tried to remove the glass, we would probably hurt him, and would also succeed in waking him up, which we didn't want to do! We finally decided to follow the advice of our "Good Samaritan" truck driver, and wait for the ambulance!

It was about half an hour before the police and ambulance arrived. The paramedics seemed to know exactly what to do with glass shards on baby faces, and within minutes, he was clean. Only when all the debris had been removed did he wake up and started to cry.

In the end, neither of my boys or myself had even as much as a scratch. My wife was the only casualty. In trying to get the glass off her face, she had managed to scratch the surface of her skin. We had been spared from this terrible accident. But how?

It's then that I remembered that inner voice that had spoken to me so clearly "Don't go to Detroit. You will have a terrible accident, but no one will be hurt." Was it possible that God had spoken to me though His Holy Spirit? My church didn't believe in this kind of manifestations, but how else could I explain this inner voice? We had been warned and miraculously spared.

When the police officer finished his assessment he came back to me and said "It's a miracle anyone of you are alive!"

I stared at him innocently: "Why?"

"These kinds of accidents frequently happen on this stretch of the highway, but they usually result in disaster," he said. "Just last week a minivan hit a deer like you just did. Its windshield caved in under the impact of the animal, and the deer ended up in the passenger's seat. I don't know why your windshield didn't cave in by the force of the impact. You should have been all dead!"

Shivers ran in the back of my neck. There is no other explanation. God had warned us through His Holy Spirit, and had come through by protecting us from disaster that could have cost all of our lives. Why had He spared us? Did He have special plans for us?

He sure did and He has plans for you as well. His love is unfathomable and His guidance through His Holy Spirit is unbelievable, but true. This accident opened my heart to the promptings of God's Holy Spirit. I had just found out that I have a friend in Jesus.

God does speak though His Spirit. He will never contradict what is written in His Word the Bible. He speaks to you because He loves you and hungers to have a relationship with you. Will you let Him? The choice is yours.

Do you have a trip to make?

Rob Chaffart

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