There was a slow puncture in the left nearside tyre, calling for regular top-ups from my Halfords’ electrical compressor, and on Tuesday I took the car into my local tyre and exhaust centre. I read my paper while they attended to the job. It seems to take forever and there was a lot of hammering. Eventually the mechanic came over to say that my special anti-theft device could not be used as it was too worn, and the wheel could not be removed. They would have to order a replacement, be here Wednesday or, at the latest, Thursday. The two days came and went and no part arrived. Friday mid-day came, I phoned. I’ll just make enquiries, Sir, see if it has arrived, phone you back in five-ten minutes. The minutes went, no phone call during the rest of the day, or on the Saturday.

It happened that Wendy and I had arranged to help our son Malcolm move to his new house in Eastleigh thirty-three miles away over the week-end and we had been storing a great deal of his belongings. A puncture on the way there, or coming back, would entail a low-loader. We decided that we could do nothing about the wheel, and we still had to meet our obligation to our son. It was a job requiring faith on our part and the assistance of angels to prevent puncture on all four wheels (each wheel required the use of the anti-theft device to remove it). We had peace that our prayer had been answered and the journeys went smoothly. It was the Bank Holiday weekend, so the local tyre people could do nothing until the following Tuesday.

I was beginning to think the job was beyond the capability of the local people, so phoned the Saab agent in West Horsley, some twenty miles away as a possible stopgap. They were willing to help, but needed a part number for the device. The manufacturer could not help, nor tyre people, and I didn’t have it. Anyway, bring it over, they said, and we’ll see what can be done. I was getting angry and frustrated; surely it can’t be this difficult? The phone was still in my hand when the word ‘enemy’ came to mind. So, was it the powers of darkness blocking the way? I took authority in Jesus’ name, reminding the opposition that he had no legal right to me or anything belonging to me.

No more than ten minutes later the phone rang. It was the local tyre man to say that the part had just arrived, and if I brought the vehicle in they’d do the job right away. In fact, once they had dealt with the wheel in question they would replace the special bolts on all four wheels with standard bolts so I wouldn’t need to use the anti-theft part. I should have thought to pray about the situation at the beginning, but it all seemed to simple at the time . . .