I have a physical handicap, one so bad that the Belgian army dismissed me
from my obligatory army duty. I am what they call me "legally blind" in one eye.
Oh, I can see and read, and I can drive. The only problem of being "legally
blind" is that even with -15 corrective lenses, I see everything in two
dimensions. Three-dimensional pictures are a complete blur to me, and towing a
trailer on small roads is pure torture! I have no way to tell if the trailer is
too close to one side of the road or the other. What a relief for the other
drivers when I am not at the helm!
As we were heading for Kingdom Bound at Darien Lake this year, we thought we had the perfect plan. Our family had spent the two previous days camping at Taughannock Falls State Park, and my wife, who was with us for that leg of the trip, would take care of the towing. She wouldn't be staying with us at Darien Lake as she had to work, but we had it worked out so that she would park the trailer on the campsite, and while the kids set up camp, I would drive her back home.
We arrived at the gate and to our astonishment, my wife was not permitted to even enter the campground. We tried to explain that her only function would be to keep the trailer out of the ditch, but to no avail. There was no other option: She would wait outside the campground until I had parked the trailer and could return to drive her back home.
I was pretty tensed up as I slid behind the wheel. "Beware everybody!" I thought. "The menace is coming!" After all, it is one thing to tow the appendage; but it is a completely different thing to back it safely onto a campsite! I found myself hoping in vain for a pull-through site; but it was not to be. Instead, we were on the hilly side of the park, surrounded by giant trees and huge boulders. Simply pulling the trailer between them would have seemed insurmountable to me; but backing between them was literally impossible!
My kids jumped out of the van to try and direct me, but I couldn't help wishing my wife was behind the wheel instead of myself! I glanced around, searching for some bystander who was just waiting to help someone like myself get onto their campsite, but there was no one. I was in the middle of a dirt road with nowhere to go!
That is when I did the only thing I could do under the circumstances: I bowed my head and prayed: "Lord, there is no way I can back onto this site with this trailer! No way at all!!! But with your help, I can! Not my will, but Yours, Lord, but may Your glory shine through all of this! I leave You my worries. Thank You, Lord, for being there for me."
Immediately a wave of peace washed over my heart. And then I miraculously backed that trailer onto the site!
Both of my sons were trying to direct me, but it wasn't me driving at all. In fact, it felt like my hands weren't even my own. I stepped out of my van, my mouth hanging open in astonishment, and I fell on my knees: "Thank you Lord!"
"You see, Papa, you CAN back the trailer onto a campsite!" Shouted my boys.
All I could mutter was that I really hadn't done it! It had been Someone with much more capable hands, and much better eyesight!
Once the trailer was detached from our vehicle, we were faced with another challenge. We had a sharply inclined ditch just behind, and we were somehow uncomfortable having the thought of the tires of our portable bedroom heading directly towards it! We decided the three of us would push the trailer around. No problem. For the first 90 degrees, that is. But now the trailer was half-way on our campsite, and half-way on the neighbour's site, and we couldn't push it forward because our campsite was a bit higher than the one below us.
Just at that time, our unknown neighbours arrived to set up camp. They saw our dilemma and immediately offered their help. In one, two, three our trailer was right where it belonged, safely away from dangerous ditches and uneven boulders!
While my kids were setting up camp, I rushed out to rescue my wife. I had, however, neglected to consider one important factor: How would we be able to pull the trailer off of the site when it was time to leave? To move a trailer it has to be connected to a vehicle, but this would now only be possible by turning it 90 degrees. The weather report called for severe thunderstorms. The ground would likely be muddy, and turning it would be very difficult.
Funny, although I became aware of the challenge the next day, I decided not to worry about it. After all, someone much bigger than myself was in control! (I wish I would remember this fact all of the time!)
The day of our departure, we tried to push the trailer around, and sure enough, it wouldn't go. Too much mud! I glanced around for help, but there was no one in sight. I noted that there was a hole in the brush between us and the site above us. This site was now empty, but the ground was soggy and it was a bit higher than ours.
Despite these obstacles, I heard an inner voice gently speaking to me: "Trust me! I will show you the way!"
I knew I could trust that voice. We hitched the trailer to the van, and I had no problem pulling it through to the next site. God had come through again!
I learned that weekend that God is, indeed, much bigger than all of our problems combined. If we submit to Him reverently in prayer and trust Him no matter what the outcome, He will hear us:
"During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission." (Heb 5:7 NIV)
Our only problem is that we tend to cling to our own problems! "They are mine, and mine alone! Shouldn't I have the right to cling on them?"
Well, that all depends if we want to be heard by God or not. He cannot help us if we do not give it up to Him!
We need to realize that the outcome might not always be what we anticipate; but in the end, it will be much better than we had hoped for!
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Rom 8:28 NIV)
"How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!" (Heb 12:9 NIV)
May this truth become our motto: No one is bigger and better and more willing to solve our impossible situations than God!
Do you have tent trailer problems? I know someone who can help you out!
The Illustrator: This daily newsletter is dedicated to encouraging everyone to look towards Jesus as the source of all the solutions to our problems. It contains a daily inspirational story, a Bible verse and encouraging messages. HTML and plain text versions available.
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