“For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;” Ephesians 2:14
It was early in the day and Russ and I were sitting on the train station platform waiting for our train which would be arriving in about ten minutes. We sat and talked about how our trip had been so far. We had been in two countries already, and would be traveling to three more before the end of our 14 day trip around Europe.
Well, as we were sitting there, a group of people ran up on the platform and then ran off the other side. Neither Russ nor I thought much about it. When we only had a few minutes before the train was to leave and still no train had arrived, Russ went to check on the monitor and came running back pointing to the train that was just leaving on a different track.
It was one of those interesting experiences when everything had gone wrong and yet we had a peace about the whole situation. The fact that neither of us had paid any attention to when the people had run up and off the platform was also interesting. It was like God had purposely blinded us to the obvious. Why?
There was another train that left from a different station in Florence that would take us to Venice. So we got over to that station and booked our tickets. Well it took forever for them to post the platform. And as we were waiting I noticed a sign under the board and said to Russ “I think that says they are going to have a train strike tomorrow.” Well he went and checked it out and yes indeed, it was true. So we ended up getting a different train that took us back up to Switzerland out of Italy.
If God had not directed us we would have been stuck in Venice for days.
One summer my brother Stephen and I decided we were going to do an overnight backpacking hike up in the Olympics of Washington. So we packed all our camping gear and headed up to the trail head.
We started hiking mid afternoon so it was getting on toward 7:00pm by the time we got up to the lake. It was beautiful. We stopped at a camp site, fixed some dinner and then thought, “Hey if we hike back now we could sleep in our own beds and we wouldn’t have to pay the overnight camping fee.”
It was getting on toward 10:00pm by the time we got to the truck and started driving out. Well we made it a mile or so down the road and then smoke started pouring out of the front dash. So we turned off the truck, but then we had no power for anything! No dash lights, no headlights, nothing. Oh, and we were out of water so we were both thirsty. There was no place where we could pull off from where we had broken down. So, we pushed the truck about a quarter mile down the road till we found a gravel road we could pull off onto.
Thankfully there was a creek by the side of the road so we were able to fill our water bottles and put some iodine tablets in them. Then we realized neither of us had brought any tools along. The closest thing we had to a tool was a can opener. And we had only brought that because I had forgotten a can of tuna in my pack from a hike we did the year before.
If someone had driven by they would have seen two men pulling apart the dash of a truck in the dark with a can opener. What a sight.
Through it all though, we had a peace. We couldn’t figure out what the problem was so we ended up setting up the tent on the side of the road and sleeping there.
Next morning, early, Stephen says to me, “You know, if we could just get a spark to the spark plugs I think we could get it to run.” So the thought was, if we could get power from the battery to the distributor that sends sparks to the spark plugs we should be able to get the engine running.
So we needed a wire. Well thankfully there was a speaker wire that we were able to get to; so we got a couple of rocks and beat the wire apart and then hooked it up from the battery to where we thought it should go. Well God blessed and we guessed right. When we plugged in the wire all the dash lights came on. So Stephen turned over the engine and there was the wonderful rumbling sound of the engine running. However there was one slight problem; when he revved the engine all the insulation on the speaker wire smoked and melted.
So, we needed a bigger wire. Well we got out our rocks again and took out a section of the coax cable that went to the antenna. And then we thought, “Let’s unplug everything we don’t need.” While in the process of doing that we also unplugged the starter so we had to push start it, but it worked. Well we hurriedly loaded all our camping gear and headed home, practicing our hand signals along the way because we didn’t have any turn lights.
Arriving home the first person we saw was Mom. And she said, “You are back so early!” Our response? “Mom, do we have a story for you!”
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:
because he trusteth in thee.” Isaiah 26:3