Have you ever encountered a situation that made you sit up, take notice about the seeming coincidence and then realize that there was something more just underneath the surface? That happened to me on a recent driving vacation.
We decided to rent an SUV to drive to a family ski resort about 700 miles from our home. The owner’s manual claimed that the vehicle got 22 miles to a gallon on the highway. Since the gas tank held 21.5 gallons, we calculated that our first tank would take us at least 400 miles.
How wrong we were.
The fuel light came on at 350 miles, just after we passed the last gas station before a long stretch of nothing (this was in the Texas Panhandle, one of the most desolate, deserted areas in the state). I was driving and I made the bold decision to go to the next town, which was 40 miles away.
Should have turned around.
So I drove on, while my dear husband castigated himself for not insisting that we fill up sooner. I decided that this was an adventure and that I would make the best of it.
So I prayed. I asked God to get us to the next gas station safely, and to show us where to pull off the highway. Then I drove on, peace filling my soul as I breathed deeply and listened to Taylor Swift on my iPhone.
We reached IH-40 and knew that we were on fumes. There were no bill boards or signs announcing a station, so I kept driving. I was still calm, but I started looking for a place to pull over if the engine quit.
And then I spotted it – and burst out laughing.
A sign placed just before the next exit declared in bold, red letters, “Jesus Saves Travel Center.”
God not only answered my prayer, he gave me a wink in the process.
We were safely on our way in a few minutes, but only after we took the time to laugh about the response to my prayer (and thank God for answering it so quickly).
The message on the gas pump seemed to sum it up: “In Jesus we trust; everyone else must pre-pay.”