It was time to head out of town on a mini vacation. The get-in-your-car, and go-wherever-God leads kind of vacation. Some we told expressed surprise, and/or fear, that we didn’t know where we were going, or what we were going to do. But what we found in doing this were so many blessings from our God as He led the way. We ended up in places I spent time at as a child—driving down that same old gravel road that once led to my grandparents’ cabin. And again discovering the magnificent swimming hole under a bridge in the Yuba River where I enjoyed many happy hours when I was young. The memories and emotions those places stirred in me surprised me—it was a much simpler time. A great deal of actual water has passed under that bridge in the years that have followed—good times and tough times…times of walking far from God, and times of walking close with Him.
As we drove on, Jim was interested in visiting a Railroad museum he had heard about. We made our way to the small town of Portola in northern California. We entered the gift shop just after a family of four. They were at the counter purchasing their tickets, and the woman behind the counter was explaining to them what Jim already knew…how they could run an actual locomotive for an hour. The cost was $200, but they could all go as a group. They seemed hesitant. Probably prompted by the Holy Spirit, who is not a Spirit of timidity, but of power and love, I spoke up. “Would you be interested in splitting the cost with us and sharing the locomotive ride?” They all turned to look at me, as well as Jim, who was shocked by his once very shy wife. The woman behind the counter immediately joined in, letting us know that was entirely possible. We could pay $50 for our 15 minutes of running the locomotive, and they could pay the rest for their 45 minutes. It wasn’t long and we were all climbing up into an EMD GP9 locomotive, for those of you who might know what this is. It was built in 1956, the same year Jim was born. After a few instructions, Jim moved over into the engineer’s seat and he started moving the locomotive down the track. A dream was realized in that moment for Jim. Scratch that off the bucket list! And yes, we bought the T-shirt.
All this to say, when out on a road trip Searching And Noticing the Divine, not having a plan showed us God’s perfect plan. If we had been five minutes earlier, or later, we would not have been there to join with that family. But God, in all His goodness, directed us where we needed to be, and exactly when we needed to be there. The train was just one of the many blessings we enjoyed on our trip. But with all the beauty we saw as we traveled around northern California, it still doesn’t hold a candle to what Jesus blessed us with. Having a Savior gives us a life that can be walked by faith, and not with fear, because faith conquers fear. FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. Jesus is the real evidence of a real Father in Heaven who loves us so much that He would send His One and only Son to die for us, so that we “may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 (ESV) We experienced God’s abundance on our road trip.
“Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.”
Jeremiah 42:3 (NIV)