We’ve started 2010 with a bang. Literally. Today was the beginning of our vacation. We spent yesterday packing and cleaning and preparing everything we’d need for a week away. We were not yet two hours from home when a doe darted out in front of our van. (We later heard that it was the last day of hunting season and the hunters were chasing the deer out of hiding.) The deer slammed into the front of the van, disabling the radiator and rendering our vehicle undrivable. We stopped to thank God for safety and then asked for wisdom. With lodging reservations at a location seven hours away, we needed a plan. And God had one. The 911 operator gave us the name of a towing company that was open on New Year’s Day. The company was only minutes away.
We stopped on the side of the road right in front of a church. While we were waiting for the tow truck to arrive, someone from the church came to turn on the heat and allowed us to use the bathroom and the phone. (Because we were in the middle of nowhere, Harold’s cell phone was not getting reception at the moment.)
The tow truck driver was a kind Christian man who owned a gas station/auto repair shop. Harold asked him, “What would you do if you and five members of your family were in a disabled van on the side of the road?” He said, “Read some good scripture and pray.” “We already did that!” Harold said, laughing. Brad was able to give a basic assessment of our vehicle and guide us to the right body shop in a town nearby, even choosing a hotel for our family within walking distance to restaurants and a discount store. He helped us carry our luggage to our second floor room, took Harold and the van to the body shop, and brought him back to the hotel.
When we checked into the hotel, the front desk even gave us the stranded motorist rate—a welcomed deal since we had to have two rooms to sleep all six of us. Not two hours later, someone flushed one of the toilets in our room and it began to overflow. I couldn’t believe it! Harold called the front desk and a maintenance man came to fix the toilet and clean up the mess.
God had taken care of repairing our van, but we were still without a vehicle for the remainder of our vacation. After many phone calls and internet research, we discovered that there was only one car rental place open on Saturday, but it was more than 30 miles away and there was no guarantee that it had a mini van available. Our church generously allowed us to use their 12 passenger van and our dear friends, Sharolyn, Blaine and Jarrod, drove 120 miles to our hotel to deliver it. We had a sweet time together for dinner and they drove another 120 miles back home. I don’t know what other people do without a church family.
And so here I am, in a hotel room in the middle of nowhere. It’s not the way I planned to start my vacation--or my year for that matter. This certainly wasn’t my plan. But how can I complain? God is faithful and He had a plan. Not that He planned for us to hit a deer, but even in the midst of a difficult situation He cared for us. He sent the right people at the right time to provide for just what we needed.
When circumstances don’t follow our plans, we can choose to pout and complain or we can choose to trust God. God always has a plan. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) No matter what happens in 2010, trust in God who has a plan.