Sunday, January 31, 2016

Our Trusty Steed

Over 3,000 miles, six mountain ranges, several audiobooks and backseat squabbles later, our little Ford Escape decided she needed a break. We were three hours from home on New Year's Day when the service light came on. The steering wheel had been acting strange for the last hour, and we decided it was best to see if someplace was open where we could find out the code and know what we were looking at. Of course, Napa Auto Parts was closed on New Year's Day, so we limped to a local McDonald's where we could use their free wifi and do some trouble shooting. We thought we had it figured out, and were ready to get back on the road when the car just quit. No steering at all. So we got back into a parking spot...I took the girls back into McDonald's...and Dan stared inside the hood.

It was then that three different strangers came upon our path and lent their services. One was a mechanic. We discovered it was an electronic steering module that had gone bad. Another one of the men was friends with the owner of the local Ford dealership and arranged to get us seen first thing in the morning. The third man worked at the local youth center and offered to let the girls hang out and play some games. (We didn't take him up on this, but it was a kind offer.) Turns out all three men loved Jesus and wanted nothing in return. They just wanted to show His love.

So in our weariness and ready to just be home, we started looking at God's provision. 24 hours earlier, we would have been in the middle of Wyoming, 100 miles from anywhere, in below-freezing weather. Instead, we were in a McDonald's parking lot, next door to a motel. When the continental breakfast was lackluster, we were next door to McDonald's for breakfast :). The local Perkins had a fabulous pancake dinner. We had three strangers offer to be Jesus to us. (One even offered to drive us the rest of the way home.)

Unfortunately, the diagnostic technician decided to not come to work the next day, so we were either stuck for two more days, or ready to rent a car. The other mechanics assured us we were safe to drive home...we just wouldn't have power steering. So like the pioneers of old, we piled back into our trusty steed and limped three more hours home. (Dan's biceps were really toned by then!)

It wasn't the best way to start the New Year, but if you think about it, it was also a great opportunity for our daughters to see how we handled stress. I may or may not have disappeared to WalMart on a Saturday right after we got home, just so I could be "alone" for a few hours.

Praying now for opportunities for us to be Jesus to others.

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