Recently, the Gospel reading at Mass, told the story of St. Peter and the Apostles in a boat when a storm came up and became extremely dangerous. Suddenly, they saw someone walking on the water towards them. St. Peter recognizes Jesus and asks if he could come to him. Jesus’s answer was direct, “Come.” When Peter became aware of what was happening around him on the water, he began to sink. Jesus rescued him, returned him to the boat, and stilled the troubled water and the hearts of the Apostles.
It reminded me of a trip Angela and I took with the kids. We decided to visit her sister and her family in California. When my brother heard what we were planning, he suggested that we drive out in his van. He recently had it worked on and put new brakes and tires on so it was ready to go. We agreed. Then we removed the back seat and put in two single mattresses, so anyone who needed it, could sleep. We also put luggage racks on the roof so that we could have more room in the van. We decided to leave on Election Day evening after Angie finished working at the poles.
The big day finally arrived and we all were quite excited about going. I decided to take a nap that afternoon because I was going to drive through the night. Just before we were ready to leave, a lady from our prayer group showed up at the house. She was extremely excited and she told me that the Lord gave her a message while praying for me. “Don’t worry about the tires,” she said. I thanked her for her prayer, loaded up the kids, and went to pick up Angela. When I told her about the woman, I added that I wasn’t even thinking about the tires. With a beautiful smile on her face, Angie said, “Let’s just thank God that she prayed for us.”
So we began our trip. I drove through the night and at 9:30 in the morning we stopped for breakfast. Afterwards, Angela drove while I slept in the back. Around 2 in the afternoon, we stopped at a burger place and I took over the driving. We reached Wichita, Kansas and stopped at a motel that had a pool. The kids celebrated getting out of the van by jumping right in! We got a great night’s sleep (no TV).
We started early the next day around 7:30 a.m., had breakfast, and made great time because Angela had packed lunches and drinks so we didn’t have to stop for lunch. We arrived at Albuquerque, New Mexico during a great heat wave. The motel had air conditioning and TV but no pool. We were directed to a great restaurant where we had a wonderful meal together.
The next morning, the manager of the motel advised us to fill up with gas and ask about a “water bag.” The man at the station explained that while traveling through the desert in high heat, they strap a water bag in front of the radiator to stop it from overheating. We had it done.
After we finished our breakfast, we started driving through the desert. The weather report said “fair and warmer with the present temperature at 110 degrees.” We were about an hour out of Albuquerque, when I began to hear a noise in the rear of the van. I asked the kids, “What are you doing back there?” They answered that it was not them but said they had been hearing a noise for a while and now it’s getting worse! I stopped to check it out. What I found shook me up – both back tires were splitting. There was only one spare tire. What was I to do? All I could think of was hoping a State Trooper would come along so we would be able to get some help. Angela pointed to a sign ahead that said, “Truck Stop – we can fix anything.” The tires stayed together long enough for us to make it into the parking area.
I walked into the repair office and told the man what my situation was. He told me we don’t usually have anything for small trucks and vehicles but I’ll put it up on the rack and see what’s happening. It sounded like an impossible situation. About an hour later he told me the bad news. Whoever did the tires put on recaps and all four were breaking apart from the heat. Normally, I would have to send to the local dealer and try to get tires out here, but GOOD NEWS! I checked our inventory and there are four steel-belted radial tires here that were ordered and never picked up. I told him that was an answer to prayer and that the Lord had told a little lady back in Delaware that we didn’t have to worry about the tires. He got them working on the tires right away.
Two hours later, I went to the office and the owner was there with the mechanic. They told me to sit down. The cost for the labor for mounting, aligning, and balancing the tires came to $110, but because the tires were an answer to prayer, they were FREE!
Just as the Lord did with Peter in his troubled times, He was present and helped us in our time of need. However, there was one difference, He told us before we even began how he was going to minister us. THANKS BE TO GOD!
October 19, 2011