Defending Changed Lives and Four-Wheel Drives by Jo Russell

Rain! Mud! What a great day to try out my amazing four-wheel drive! Jolene decided. I’ll just go out to the Jones’ and buy some fresh eggs!

With the brand-new vehicle that had been tagged, “four-wheel drive of the year,” she felt confident she could handle country road challenges rivaling the ruts and roads ridden by Pony Express riders over a hundred years before.

As she drove to the Jones’ farmhouse flanked by cotton fields, she turned off the pavement onto the two-track trail to their house. She made sure she had the wheels locked in four-wheel drive.

This will be fun! An adventure! My first four-wheel drive!

The mud was gluey, thick as chocolate frosting, and as deep as a seven-layer cake.

Jolene eased into it, which was a big mistake. Soon she was up to the hubs in adventure with  thick mud all around. Jolene had read about rocking it back and forth to get it free. But it didn’t work.

So much for four-wheel drive of the year!

She walked a mile to the Jones.’ Riley and Mary smiled when they heard of her adventure. Mary handed Jolene a couple of dozen eggs and sent her out to Riley’s truck.

“Let’s go!” Riley as he swung open the door of his pick-up truck. Unlike the shiny new four-wheel drive stuck on their entry road, his truck was rusty, dented and look like it had been painted flat black with a brush. “Doesn’t look like much, but it’s a good truck.”

Jolene watched Riley fasten the passenger door shut with an elastic bungee cord.

When he got to the muddy road, Riley stopped short of the mud. He quickly hooked a tow rope to the front of the new SUV.  Backing slowly, he pulled the new vehicle out of the bog in less than five minutes.

“Thanks a bunch!” Jolene gushed.

Riley shook his head. Then he looked her dead in the eyes and commented, “Nice vehicle. But you need to learn how to drive it!”

With that he waved and drove off in his flat-black dented truck.

Just as Riley was confident of the truck which had much value on his farm and dirt roads, in the same way we can be confident of God’s word and promises in our everyday life. Living his lifestyle brings joy and hope.

How often has anyone asked, “Why are you so happy and calm almost all the time?”

Peter urges believers to be ready to explain, perhaps even to compare, how life was going before and after Christ changed a heart and life.

Just as outdoor enthusiasts can defend the advantages of having a four-wheel drive, rusty or new, a believer can explain where and when the inner joy, hope, trust, and confidence in God came to them.

Living Christ’s way and trusting him to rescue results in a better life and path ahead than any four-wheel drive.

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from and her speaking engagements. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website,]