and nd we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.~Romans 8:28 NIV
The Wilderness Trip
My husband and I were about to take a trip where we would see God in the wilderness. Our pilgrimage would take us from Illinois to Oregon, California, Nevada, and Utah.
Friends who have traveled there told me about the seemingly never-ending highway of barren lands and boring scenery. But it was the distances between the nothingness, gas stations, and hospitals that I wondered about. All kinds of negative thoughts bombarded my mind. What if we ran out of gas or our vehicle broke down? What if we got into an accident and needed paramedics? How long would it take them to get there? I reconsidered going on this trip.
Realizing I had let myself become anxious, I turned to prayer. It should have been my first line of defense. Fear of the unknown had caused a lot of what-ifs, and I had let that overrun my biblical sense. I prayed Deuteronomy 31: 8 (NIV), “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
And I prayed that prayer for most of our trip.
God in Our Wilderness
When we saw the Nevada welcome sign, I sighed. One hour in and my friends were right–it was a dismal, endless highway of boringness. Gas stations were hundreds of miles apart. Thankfully, we made it to Las Vegas without incident.
The next day, we arrived in Utah and stayed overnight in Richfield. The following morning, we continued to Grand Junction, Colorado. About halfway between these destinations, a state trooper pulled alongside us. He told us we had smoke pouring out of the camper wheel. We thanked him and headed to the nearest gas station.
After parking in an empty lot, we checked the trailer. The bearings had burned up. We couldn’t go any farther. I walked to a gas station to ask if there was a repair shop in the area. The woman attendant said there was, but it was ninety miles away in Grand Junction. She also mentioned there was a parts store back the other way a few miles. Disappointed, I thanked her and left. What were we going to do? Staying in the trailer wasn’t an option since we had no electricity or water. Safety was also a concern. But where could we go? We were in the middle of nowhere. And did I mention we had two dogs with us?
Discouraged, I returned to the trailer. I noticed a penny on the ground and picked it up. I looked at the words written on it, “In God We Trust,” and smiled. “Nothing is too hard for my God,” I mumbled, then prayed for God’s help.
When I returned, we called the parts store. They didn’t think they had the parts, but if we wanted to bring the parts in, they would check to see if they had them in stock. It was our only hope. We left the trailer parked and headed back the twenty-seven miles to the parts store. What they had matched what we needed. I stood in awe. Not only did the store have the bearing, but they also had a spare. What a blessing.
Within two hours, we were on our way, and I was giddy with thankfulness. What had started as a day gone wrong ended up as a day gone totally right. With God, all things are possible, even in the wilderness. We knew. We had met God in the wilderness . . . our wilderness.
Trust God in Your Wilderness
Some things will never go according to our plans. Circumstances put curves where a straight line should be. But we don’t have to let those curves make us fearful. Our God dwells in the wilderness, too. The next time you are discouraged, look at the words on a penny and trust God to make the impossible possible.
How can you do a better job of trusting God in the wilderness of impossible situations?
Father God, thank You that even during my problems, You are working things out for my good. Help me to remember Your goodness and faithfulness when I’m afraid or discouraged. Help me to know You are always with me, and I am never alone. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2023: God in the Wilderness: Sandra Stein: All Rights Reserved