The next day, Wednesday, when I was somewhere in Utah, I called Roland. He told me the surgery appointment had been changed to next Wednesday. Rats! After all the trouble to make the bus!
But I had made the bus. And for that, I think there was a reason. Could it have been just for the joy of Thursday, sitting on my couch with 11-year-old Melissa brushing my hair and 8-year-old Sarah putting lotion on my feet?
No, there has to be a deeper reason than that.
One interesting event is that after Roland picked me up early at the bus station Thursday morning, we all went out to breakfast. After breakfast, we got back into the car, tired and ready to go back to bed. But the car wouldn’t start. It didn’t seem to be getting any gas, and then the battery began to die. While Roland was trying and trying to get it started, I tried to think of other things. And I prayed. While praying, I notice a man go into the restaurant. He was carrying a book. Roland tried the car again. The battery sounds near dead now.
What do we do about the car? We can’t call someone from home to come help us in town. It’s not even 7am yet! I went back into the restaurant, looked in the yellow pages and tried the pay phone. But none of the “service” stations I called actually come out and do service any more. That’s what they told me anyway. So what do we do? I called another station. No one answered.
“Lord, why is this happening? You know Roland and I are both at the ends of our ropes already. Why add another thing? We’re going to fall apart! Please help us get home.”
In everything give praise. “Okay. I’m trying to sing that song, Rejoice, rejoice.” Can’t remember all the words though. “Rejoice, in the Lord…Rejoice, in the Lord…”
I stand in the restaurant and see a group of men at a back table. The man with the book is with them.
“Waitress, are they having a Bible study back there?”
Praise God! I walk back. Slowly and quietly though. I don’t want to be a disruptive. At least, anymore than I have to be. Four feet from them, I stop and wait. One looks up; “can we help you?” (Why do I always feel like crying at times like this?) (Don’t worry, I didn’t. I just felt like it.)
I tell them our car trouble, and immediately two get up and come. They aren’t able to get our car jump started though. There’s something wrong with the fuel pump or filter, maybe. Maybe we need to call the dealer.
Okay. Then I ask, “Are you already through with devotions?”
“No, we’ve just begun. Would you like to join us?”
Yes. Roland and I say we would like to. So we go back in with them, and have a really great study. Roland participated in the discussion and prayed with them and it was great. (I also, actually, got a couple nagging questions answered. 2 Cor. 5:17, in the koine Greek, actually says BECOMING. NOT a sudden transformation. This was offered by one of the men without my even asking.)
The devotions over, a third man says he’s going to look at the car. He even goes to his own car and gets coveralls. Another man brings a box of tools.
While they are working, I have further discussion with a fourth man in the lobby of the restaurant. He’s a retired pastor. He tells me that just before I came in, they had finished reading the verses about gladly helping brothers that are in trouble. They had all thought it was pretty funny when I came in and asked for help directly after that.
Oh my. Oh My Lord Jesus, thank you.
A few minutes later, our car was running. It still needed a new part, but it would get us home. Seems like we just weren’t supposed to leave that restaurant that day without getting our morning devotions done.
It might still take awhile to figure out just why I came home early. I can think of lots of reasons, but don’t know the Lord’s reason yet. For that matter, it’s going to take awhile to figure out what the whole Mexico trip was about. I’m suspecting that, as usual, there’s a whole lot more to it then meets the eye. Praise God.
Originally Published January 31, 2009
The trip to Mexico was in the spring of 2002