Follow me and I will make you fishers of men, Jesus told the first disciples. They left all and followed Him. They left their livelihood, their relationships and set off on an unknown adventure. Reading about their journeys with Jesus is inspiring and challenging. I have experienced some amazing adventures with Jesus as well. Back in 1977 we were invited to attend a wedding in Massachusetts. During this season we were pioneering a small church in Spirit Lake, Idaho. Our overseer felt it was a God thing for us to come as well–not just for the wedding, but also to see what He was doing on the east coast through this ministry. We began to make preparations.
We prayed. We had little money to work with–so we expected God to supply somehow, some way. A couple came to be the interim pastor for us. My husband build some beds in our VW van for us to sleep at night. We kept on praying. Still no great supply of funds. Everyday we expected the mailbox to hold the “answer”….but nothing appeared. Interestingly enough, we never mentioned to our Overseer that we did not have the money to make the trip. We just kept on believing and trusting the Lord. As we prayed separately, we both felt impressed to leave at 4:00 p.m. on a Saturday–how specific can you get? There is power in agreement! I remember Darryl declaring “I don’t care Satan what you do–I will be leaving this town at 4:00 on Saturday!” We packed the van and left with $25 to drive across this nation! We made a quick stop in Cour-de-lene Idaho and were given about 20 more dollars!
The first night we stopped at a rest area in the Rocky Mountains outside Butte, Montana. Even though it was June, it was still cold up in those mountains. I decided to start driving about 5;00 a.m. to make some distance. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to me our front left tire had gone flat in the night. I had never driven with a flat tire before so it took me a bit to figure out something was wrong. I woke Darryl and he quickly figured out what was wrong. He changed the tire and we headed down the Rockies one a 6% grade. Suddenly our left front tire bounced off ahead of us! Darryl skillfully with the help of God’s angels pulled the car quickly to the right and we stopped. Physics dictates we should have landed on our left front axle and flipped the van. Physics tells us that our axle should have been bent and damaged. However none of those things happened. Darryl jumped out of the van and started chasing the tire. But after two trips up and down the highway we never found it.
As I sat in the van with our girls, I could not have felt more guilt. It was my fault I had ruined our tire by driving on it. The spare was lost–along with the special lug nuts that VW’s use. Darryl hitchhiked back into Butte with the messed up tire. I prayed, ” God you have to be God here. We have no credit cards–no cash, just you.” I heard the Holy Spirit whisper, “get the girls ready for church. Darryl has connected with a pastor who will help you”. I obeyed those still quiet words. Not too long afterward, Darryl arrived with a pastor who did indeed help us. A small humble church who loved God and us that day. Darryl ended up preaching the night service and they gave us a cash offering of $50. We had enough gas money to make it to Youngstown, OH where we were expected by Darryl’s grandparents.
We had more adventures on that trip as we “followed Him”. It changed our lives. Following Jesus is not always easy, but it is always doable. He doesn’t always ask us to do such BIG faith steps–but I have found some of the smaller “asks” can be more difficult. “Call this person, now”, ‘Give this money to this person, now” can often be challenging as we learn to “deny ourselves” and follow him. Take time to read Mark 8:34-36 if you want to be challenged. I have never regretted saying yes to Him. We ended up in Rhode Island with $50! I’ll share the “rest of the story” next week!