It Took Three Car Wrecks

It Took Three Car Wrecks

Sometimes trials are opportunities to share Jesus.

Janet Page serves as associate ministerial secretary for pastoral spouses, families, and prayer. 

I wrecked one of our cars. It wasn’t too bad. The car was still drivable. The insurance company would send an adjuster to assess the damage. We lived in the country, so my husband, Jerry, drove the car to work at the conference office to meet the adjuster.

After the adjuster assessed the damage, he asked Jerry if he worked at the conference office. Jerry said he did, and the man shared, “I grew up going to Pathfinders and went to an academy.”

“Do you go to church now?” Jerry asked.

“No, I married a nonbeliever, and we just have never attended church.”

Jerry encouraged him to take his family to church.

“I know I should,” he replied.

My husband gave him the address of an Adventist church near his home and the pastor’s phone number. Then Jerry prayed with him.

“Thank you. I needed that prayer,” the man said. “I’ve been thinking about God and that I need to go to church.”


About a year later, Jerry wrecked our car. It wasn’t too bad. The car was drivable. The insurance company sent out the same adjuster to assess the damage. He met Jerry at the conference office.

“Are you going to church?” Jerry asked.

He looked down and said no. “My kids have soccer practice and other events on Sabbaths. It’s just so difficult.”

Jerry encouraged him, saying, “Your children need God in their lives.” Then Jerry prayed with him and again gave him the address to the church near his home and the pastor’s phone number. Jerry also called the pastor and gave him the man’s contact information.

Later, I called the insurance company and asked if they often send out the same adjuster. “No, we never do. That is our rule.”

I said, “But you did,” and they replied, “No, we never do that.”


A year later, our son Zac wrecked the car. It wasn’t a bad wreck. The car was drivable. And the insurance company sent the same adjuster! He assessed the damage and handed Jerry the estimate.

“Are you going to church yet?” Jerry asked.

The adjuster looked down at his feet and said, “No, it’s just too hard. There are too many conflicts.”

With a smile Jerry said, “Will you please go to church so my family can quit having car wrecks?”

He laughed. “It does seem like God is trying to encourage me that way. I mean, I never see the same person twice, let alone three times, to do an assessment on their wrecked car.”


Once again, Jerry gave him the address of the church near his home and the pastor’s phone number.

I called the insurance company one more time, asking, “Do you always send the same adjuster?”

The reply was the same. “Never. It is not our policy.”

“But you did,” I said. “Three times!”

They assured me, “No, we never do that.”

This time the adjuster and his family began attending church and joined a small-group Bible study with the pastor.

When troubles come, I often say to God, “I don’t need this in my life right now! Why me?” Then I remember the three car wrecks and the insurance adjuster.

I am trying to remember to praise God when trials come. They are never convenient. All too often trials can be serious. Yet I have learned that sometimes trials are opportunities to share Jesus, and I ask Him to lead me. I pray, “Please put Your words in my mouth!”

“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 43:5).

Our God is longing for us to follow Him to reach the world. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17).