We were headed to Tennessee on a scouting trip, where we were considering retiring. I may have been in the passenger seat, but I was not all in. I knew the reasons for taking us away from the Midwest and our grandchildren were arrived at prayerfully, carefully, and thoughtfully. But I was not happy. I was going kicking and screaming on the inside, and I could hardly breathe.
We stopped for an overnight along the way in an empty campground (it was midweek), unhooked our trailer, and drove to town for a bite to eat. As we were returning to the campground, we heard a loud ka-chunk, ka-chunk, and I jumped out of the truck to investigate. As suspected, there was a large bolt lodged in the tire, so we limped back to our campsite to put on the spare. Flyboy dug behind the front seat to get the tire iron only to find that inside the neatly wrapped tool bag that came with the truck we had just bought, there was no tire iron. It was around 6:30pm and we had to be on the road early the next morning to meet our realtor.
I was about to ask Flyboy if our car insurance provided roadside assistance when out of nowhere (did I mention we were alone in this campground?), a big white pick-up truck pulled up and a fully outfitted cowboy with a walrus mustache asked if we needed help. How did he even know we were in trouble? We relayed the need for a tire iron, and lickety-split he was digging an impact driver out of the back of his truck, crouching in front of the tire, and pulling bolts out of the wheel like he was on an Indy pit crew.
I was mesmerized by his oversized belt buckle, his handcrafted cowboy boots, his southern drawl, and the huge open laptop on the front seat if his truck, as if he had received the flat tire assignment from a great heavenly dispatching center. Was this cowboy an angel? A real live angel?
Realizing that one doesn’t get this kind of opportunity very often, I decided the direct approach was the way to go. I cleared my throat, screwed up my courage and asked: “Are you an angel?” He didn’t answer immediately. Finally, he smiled and said, “The good Lord knows I jus’ like helpin’ people.”
I’m of the opinion if you don’t say no, what you really mean is yes. It was a definite yes.
After he finished zipping the spare into place, he disappeared as quickly and stealthily as he had arrived. And then, I heard a voice from the Lord, not out loud, but in my heart it was crystal clear. He said, “I’m not saying this will always be easy, but I promise I will always be there for you and will provide for your every need.”
That hit me like a ton of bricks, and it spoke to me on so many levels. From the extra expense of a new tire (and finding someone to sell us one at a moment’s notice) – to the heart wrenching decision to move farther away from our grandkids – to the need to find a house we could afford – all of it. All. Of. It. He would provide for all of it. This was a big message, and one that required delivery by an angel for me to hear. Roger that. Loud and clear.
Now, whenever I’m tempted to question God’s plan for me, I’m reminded of HIs miraculous provision when I needed it the most.
I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. – Psalm 9:1 (NIV)