When the Wheels Fall Off
June 3, 2009 • By Ed Wrather
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus. - Romans 15:4-5.
A car in Switzerland literally had its wheels fall off right in the middle of the road. Those traveling in the car had stopped a short time before and changed the tires replacing the winter tires with some summer tires. This is often necessary in Switzerland where there is so much snow in the wintertime. However, they used the wrong wheel nuts on the summer tires. Thankfully, no one was hurt in the incident.
"When the wheels fall off" is a proverbial saying that has its roots back to the time of horse drawn wagons. There have been songs written about it and most of us know that it basically means something bad. Without your wheels, your forward motion comes to a sudden, complete, and shocking halt. I’ve lost a wheel off of the trailer of a truck that I was driving, but we never found it. I was once following a truck when it lost one of the wheels, and it caused the car immediately behind it to go off the roadway and flip violently over and over several times. But I have never actually heard of a vehicle literally losing all four of the wheels at the same time!
In life, it sometimes happens that our wheels fall off and everything that we were doing comes to a sudden screeching violent stop. I have had my wheels fall off in life, and it has never been a pleasant experience. My wheels fell off when my wife left me for a week early in our marriage. My wheels fell off whenever I was laid off from a job, and when the business I was operating in the oilfield no longer had any customers because most of them went out of business or were bankrupt. My wheels fell off when I realized my income was far less than the bills that I had to pay. My wheels fell off when our second son was born with Down Syndrome and when sometimes our "perfect" older son would have problems. My wheels fell off too when I was hospitalized in 2003.
My wheel losing experience pales in comparison to what some have had. I have had the unpleasant experience while I was a parole officer of seeing broken people come into my office and share the details, of how they messed up their lives through criminal activity. I have had the unpleasant experience of arresting people at their place of employment because they had written a bad check. Not something that I wanted to do, but I was ordered to do so. But even those kinds of things pales in comparison to having a wife, or husband, or child to lose their life through illness, or because of an accident, or in some other way.
What do you do when your wheels fall off? Where do you turn, where do you go, where do you find help? The apostle Paul gives us some direction as he tells us how to find patience and comfort. Where do you find the patience to continue to live life during those very difficult times when your wheels have fallen off? How do you find any relief, any comfort? Through the Scriptures, through the Bible, Paul says there you find patience and comfort from the God of patience and comfort. If you want patience and comfort, you need to go to the source and that source is God. God is the One who has picked me up, put me back together, and got me going again every time that my wheels have fallen off. He will do the same for you, if you will let Him.