Besides getting me sober and stopping me from smoking three packs of cigarettes a day, the very first miracle that God asked me to pray for was in 1989. My family and I had planned on moving back to North Dakota from San Jose, CA in a couple weeks so I got them interested in going on a drive to Carmel and Monterrey, which was a Sunday. I had a 1982 Toyota Tercel that had been a great car with very few problems in the past. Once we drove around Carmel for a while and came to the junction where an old Spanish church was, I decided to go on a drive south from there. We took a quick peek at the map and it showed a long winding road through valleys between two mountain ranges. Greenfield was south and east from Carmel towards central California.
The first few miles we saw ranches on both sides of the road with huge houses on them. After that, it was a barren drive with no traffic and just a few ranches tucked up in the trees at the base of the mountains. It reminded me of driving in central North Dakota where you can drive for an hour and not meet any cars. Everything was going great when all of a sudden the car started vibrating badly. I suspected the left half shaft right away because a year earlier, I had to replace the other shaft after it broke and put a hole in my oil pan. I did the work on replacing it because I had a lot of farming experience. I knew how to repair universal joints and learned that once they start spitting out bearings, they need to be replaced immediately or you can have serious problems with other parts of the machine.
I pulled over to check it out. I grabbed the shaft and pulled on it and bearings came out. It was wobbling so I knew we were stuck there. I wasn’t about to drive and end up with a shaft going through the block of the car engine which I learned can happen. I got back into the car and told my wife and kids we had to walk to get help. Our boys were 4 and 5 years old and it wasn’t too long ago that we had to carry them all the way across San Franscisco because they were too tired to walk. They didn’t like their strollers anymore so we expected them to walk with us. That was the worst day I ever had with them because they were quite heavy at this age. My wife and I had to carry them back to the Bart station from the popular tourist area where the piers were.
With this in mind, we declined on that walking together idea so I told her I would walk and they could stay in the car. The look of fear came to her face and said she wasn’t going to be left alone in the middle of nowhere. She thought a stranger might mess with her and the kids while I was gone. We had no way out except to wait for a ride that we hadn’t seen since we left Carmel.
All of a sudden, I got this strong desire to ask God to fix the half shaft. This was given to me because I never would have thought God would fix cars. I remember Jesus healing people but not fixing anything. I turned to my boys and wife and told them we were going to pray to God for him to fix the half shaft so we could go home. After I prayed to him, I started up the car and drove off. It was vibrating badly just like it was when I stopped. But I got this overwhelming confidence that it was fixed so I kept driving and within a mile or so, I noticed the vibrating was easing up. The more I drove the better it got and by the time we got to Greenfield, I had forgotten about it. We had a long trip back to San Jose but since it wasn’t vibrating anymore, we went home without dealing with it. I had this confidence that everything was okay.
It was working so good by the time we got back to San Jose, that I didn’t bother to look underneath the car to see how God fixed it. I never did check it out and we drove that car back to North Dakota and I used it in the ranching business that her father and I partnershipped in. I welded a hitch on this car and used it to haul machinery and loads of fertilizer and other things behind it. The business didn’t work out very well so we moved back to San Jose where I had my old job waiting for me. I drove that car back and forth to work for another year and a half before giving it to my oldest son who had just turned 16. We had put over 60, 000 miles on that half shaft God repaired before I gave it to my son. He knew about this miracle but most people don’t believe, even if your wife and children witness it. My son drove this car for another year and a half when he finally called me up to tell me he was having the brakes overhauled for $600. Then he told me the mechanic wanted him to replace the left half shaft that God fixed. There was no rubber boot left and it was totally dry of grease and wobbling. I told my son to drive away from that mechanic, then buy a set of front brake pads for $25 and put them in himself. Then I told him God already fixed the half shaft so he doesn’t have to worry about it.
A few days later, he called me up and said he borrowed $1,000 from his grandfather to pay for the brake job and replace the half shaft. The car wasn’t even worth $1,000 but it was too late to say anything else to him. Kids just don’t have faith these days, do they?