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Christian author and speaker Joni Eareckson Tada writes: I’m a quadriplegic, yet I can drive a van (my hand is secured to a big joystick so I can steer, accelerate, and brake). I enjoy being independent, so if there’s something I can do, I will - even if it means tackling the drive-thru at a fast-food restaurant by myself.

Remember, my hands don’t work. That’s why last week when I cruised into the drive-thru lane to order hamburgers and Cokes, I prayed for the fellows at the pick-up window. "Lord, give them patience, and give me a smile." Then I moved to the intercom to place my order.

When I’d finished explaining "no cheese" and "extra mustard packets," I told the voice on the intercom that I was disabled. There was a pause. Then, "Okay, no problem."

I pulled up to the delivery window and smiled. Sticking my arm out the window, I asked the cashier to take the 10-dollar bill that was folded in my arm splint. That was a cinch.

While he fished for my change, I asked him to place it in the paper bag along with the hamburgers. At that point, the server bagging my order looked over his shoulder. Both boys, confused, gave each other a look that said, "Do you know what she’s talking about? ’Cause I don’t!" I smiled and slowly repeated my instructions.

They got the message - and even wrapped my change in a napkin before they dropped it into the bag with the food. Then they handed me my order. I had to ask, "Could you please lean out your window and wedge the bag between me and the van door?" Both boys looked at each other again. "I can’t reach for the bag. Remember?"

"Oh, yeah," they laughed, then hung halfway out the pick-up window to lodge the package between my wheelchair and the door. "Are you set? Are you okay?" they asked in all sincerity.

"Great job," I assured them. "God bless you guys!" They slapped the side of my van as I drove off. When I glanced in my rearview mirror, they were waving good-bye. Thanks, God, for answering prayer. That could have been awkward, but it turned out to be fun!

This is the daily stuff of my life. It always involves more than simply picking up hamburgers or the dry cleaning. It involves a chance to make God real to people. A chance for them to serve, to feel good about themselves, to experience a new way of doing things.

Problems are often God’s way of prying us out of our rut.

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