When vacation time comes, we plan where we are going, what we will do, where we stay and when we will leave. We don’t plan on having any problems.
We took an RV trip this summer and we prepared for months. We had the vehicle checked out by a mechanic who gave it a clean bill of health. We filled the enormous tank with gas, to the happy dance of the gas station attendant. We charged the GPS and had our campground confirmations stowed in the vehicle. We purchased food so that the kitchen of the RV was well stocked, the refrigerator and freezer budging, and the counters laden with bread, chips, donuts, etc. And we arranged to take two of our grandchildren with us while the other family members would join us a few days later.
In short, it was our firm intent to have fun because we had planned and we thought we were ready for anything. … God must have smiled at our childish ignorant arrogance!
On the day of our departure, it was raining rather heavily but we were going merrily on our way down the interstate, towing the Jeep behind us, heading for Myrtle Beach. We had stopped at a rest area in North Carolina for a break from driving and a time to walk outside and stretch.
When we began to leave the rest area, my Husband stepped on the brake: no great emergency, he just wanted to slow down a bit before getting onto the highway merge ramp. The brake pedal went clear to the floor without breaking a sweat and, more to the point, without stopping the vehicle, but we weren’t going fast so there was no danger. We came to a rolling stop and he pumped the brakes a bit thinking that, perhaps, they had gotten wet from the rain.
Then we slowly started off again, and while there was some stopping power, it was painfully obvious that we had a serious problem.
We limped up to the next exit ramp, which “happened” to have a Cracker Barrel with elongated RV parking spaces. We pulled in, and came to a stop at the same time I got in contact with a 24-hour repair company I found on the ole’ Internet. The man said that he would come to assist us as soon as he finished up the job he was currently handling. So we waited for the expert who was going to identify and then, hopefully, solve the problem so that we could continue on to the campground 140 miles further down the road.
After couple of hours, he came in his truck with all sorts of equipment. The jacks raised the front of the vehicle and, after looking under the RV in the very steady rain, the serviceman climbed out holding the brake line that was in two separate and distinct pieces, a situation that clearly was not good. In short, the brake fluid could not get to the brakes if the brake line was in two pieces! His telling comment was “It is clear that ‘the Man upstairs’ was taking care of you.”
We agreed with this comment, and further noted that the Lord had certainly been gracious in preventing what could have been an incredibly horrific accident, given the propane gas and gasoline that had just been put in the vehicle’s tanks.
The serviceman exerted heroic efforts on our behalf. He identified the problem, drove over 75 miles after calling three different places trying to find a hydraulic line that was long enough to install in the RV. The third place he called had a line that was the right length and the store attendant agreed to stay late that Saturday night to accommodate his after-hours arrival. Back in the parking lot, he worked until almost midnight to insure that the braking system was completely repaired and working properly.
After sleeping in Cracker Barrel’s parking lot, we got back onto the Interstate and a couple of miles down the road, long before there was any other exit, a sign informed us that there was a 7% downhill grade. We were heading into the Green River Gorge, where the highway twisted and curved through beautiful, rugged mountains.
Going down that long grade without working brakes would have been … bad, really, really bad. After reading that sign and after shaking off the chills that ran down my spine thinking of the possibilities of riding that road without working brakes, I looked at my husband and said “Isn’t that just like God … perfect in His timing and provision! Fixing a problem before we knew we really needed it!”
I should not have been surprised. Scripture tells us that God will do this.
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
In our worldview, none of this was luck. We believe that our God knew what was going to happen and He protected us from the injury that surely would have come from driving down the steep highway without brakes in a motor home.
Our faith in God, however, is not a good luck charm nor is it a ticket to a Walmart in the sky! God is not an indulgent grandparent that allows misbehavior because it is cute. Indeed, we know that God does not always prevent injury, illness or even death to His own people. He has His plans and purposes above our limited understanding. The biblical book of Job is an outstanding example of this.
What we do know and believe is that He will supply that which we need most … eternal salvation through our belief in the life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. THAT is what is needful. All the rest is temporary and fleeting.
The Providence of God surpasses any planning that I could do or even conceive of … He is the Author and Creator of all. Praise His name for His goodness to His children. Not just in helping with a broken brake line, but in providing His Son for our salvation, for granting us eternal life, for making us His children for all eternity.
“to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”
Thank God for His wisdom and providence as you listen to a song from Truth Sings the Word, as they present Philippians 4:19 in a song entitled “My God Shall Supply”.
Father, I cannot begin to comprehend your omnipotence and omnipresence. I believe these truths, but I cannot comprehend them. I know You are with me each moment of the day and that nothing happens to me that is outside your plan, but when You present yourself in such a visible, incredible way, in such a minute activity for an all-powerful God, I am humbled and once again come to you, crying Abba Father. I love You, I am in awe of You, and I praise your holy name.