I love it when I stumble across a ‘light through the cracks’ story in the lives of my friends – and this one is no exception.

It comes from my friend Earl, and tells of how God provided for him and his youngest daughter, when the family car broke down.


Earl feels so pleased when he drives away from the garage. The car has had an oil change and gained two brand new tyres.

“I’m not a ‘car’ guy by any stretch of the imagination,” he says, “but I try to keep up with the maintenance.”

Time is becoming pressured and precious, as the family are leaving for America in a few days’ time, and there is a lot to fit in before they head to the airport. So the day after the car service, Earl plans to squeeze in a haircut for his youngest daughter, after picking her up from school, and before heading home for dinner.

All is going to plan – until there is a loud bang, just as Earl is driving home from the hairdresser’s, which is in a neighbouring town.

“It’s never good to hear these sounds,” he says, “and all of a sudden, my mind started to race.”

What just happened? he wonders. Did I hit something I didn’t see? Did something break? Can we still drive?

The car is clearly still functioning, but there is evidently a problem.

Remembering that there is a garage at the bottom of the hill in the town he’s driving through, he coasts the car down the hill and into the town – where he finds a parking spot directly across from the garage, on the opposite side of the road.

Pulling up to park, and shooting up arrow prayers, Earl tries phoning his roadside assistance provider, but cannot get through the automated system. Then he tries their app, alas to no avail, as there is no wifi and only limited data.

All the while, his daughter is struggling with being contained in the car on what is a busy stretch of road.

Unsure what to do, Earl calls the garage on the opposite side of the road, waits a short while, and then speaks to a mechanic. To his shock, after explaining that there’s a problem, the mechanic simply says, “Sure, bring the car around the back and we’ll take a look.”

“I don’t know about you,” Earl says, “but you don’t expect to just turn up at a garage and have your car looked at, without any pre-booking or planning ahead. It was quite incredible.”

The diagnosis is speedy. One of the brand new tyres – not even a day old – is dead. Something sharp has punctured it.

“To my frustration, I found myself being advised that I would have to buy a replacement tyre, just a day after purchasing the original tyre,” Earl says, “but then they told me there were none in stock.”

So Earl and his daughter wait, while a solution is found. It isn’t easy in a garage with hydraulic lifts, cars all over the place, and mechanics toing and froing with machinery – and a daughter who’s keen to explore. But wait they do.

It doesn’t take long before the mechanic returns to say he can order in a replacement tyre, and it will be there really soon, if Earl is happy to wait.

Earl agrees and, leaving the car to await the arrival of the new tyre, he and his daughter walk to the local park, to see the ducks and enjoy an ice cream.

By the time they head back to the garage, the car is ready – and it’s not long before Earl has driven home, just in time for dinner.


“You could say that it was bad luck to puncture a tyre, only a day after it had been bought, brand new,” Earl says. “It was frustrating, yes, but I don’t think it was bad luck.” He pauses a moment, and then continues. “I’d rather say it was God’s provision.”

The reality is that Earl didn’t lose control of the car. He lost a hubcap from the puncture, but the car could still carry on.

There was a garage only a mile down the road; the garage wasn’t terribly busy; they could see the car immediately; they could access an appropriate new tyre, and put it on, with barely any delay.

They were home in time for dinner, they were safe.

“I love how the Bible says over and over that God will care for people,” Earl says, “He provides for you and me, day-in and day-out, but we often don’t see it. On this occasion, I really recognised it, because it was in my time of need.”


In my experience, God is in the business of providing for his people. If this is you:

Why don’t you take a moment to pause, reflect and recall the last time that God provided for your needs?
What was the situation you were facing? Was it calm, or in the midst of a crisis?
How did he do it? Was it big and dramatic, or small and seemingly mundane?
However it happened, why don’t you stop to say thank you?

If this isn’t you, and you’ve never knowingly experienced God’s provision before, why don’t you pray a simple prayer, asking him to meet your needs?

As ever, constructive thoughts and reflections would be welcome in the comments below.

Photo: Earl’s own



  1. A similar thing happened to me when I had a sudden puncture on the way to a meeting 10 days ago; amazingly the AA turned up within 35 minutes (other road care assistance is available) and I was at my meeting just an hour late. That has never happened to me before – my usual experience is to wait 2-3hrs! I didn’t see it as a God-thing until reading this post but it’s true, Gods provision is in the small, everyday occurrences as much as in the miracles.

    • Joanna Watson Reply

      I love this story, Mary! Thanks for sharing it. We’re often so oblivious to the signs of God’s provision in day-to-day life, aren’t we? I’m glad my post has helped you see it in your own recent puncture experience.

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