“The radiator’s overheated,” he replied.
I felt a knot in my stomach. We had worked too hard for this to happen. My brother Michael, a couple friends and I had been traveling for almost 18 hours straight from our college in Washington to California. Now we were driving with my dad to Leoni Meadows Camp, where 400 high school students would be arriving in a few hours for a weekend Bible retreat. Michael, Dean, Gabby and I were the band. God had given us a job to do.
Honestly, I was frustrated about the car. These sorts of things always happen when God gave us a job to do. My brother and I had made the same trek a few years earlier, and it turned out to be one of the most stressful weekends of my life. We missed our flight, took a frantic drive to another airport, had two flat tires, and a near-death experience involving a foot-long wrench whizzing by me while I stood by the side of the road. I was not ready for another one of these weekends.
We piled out of the car, and Dad checked under the hood. “Our radiator did overheat,” he confirmed. “We need water to cool it down.”
But we didn’t have any with us. We needed a miracle.
We got in a circle and prayed. I hoped that God would provide, but, secretly, I didn’t see a way out of this mess.
We glanced around and noticed a little stream down the bank by the side of the road, complete with a break in the fence to provide access to it. We found an empty water jug in the trunk of the car and used it to fill the radiator with fresh, cool water, and a few minutes later Dad decided to see if the car would start. I paid attention, hopeful that this would be the miracle we had asked for.
My dad turned the key… and nothing.
I felt dejected. And slightly unsurprised. After our escapade two years ago, I kind of expected we’d be stuck here forever.
With nothing left to do except wait, we decided to run through the songs for that night. But as we started singing the last song, something inside of me felt different.
We sang the words, “Our God is greater / our God is stronger / God you are higher than any other / our God is healer / awesome in power/ our God,” but it didn’t feel like practice. I felt connected to God in a way that I hadn’t felt before. I didn’t even think about our situation, I just let the worry go. For those five minutes, it was all about God.
When we finished Dad tried the key one more time. We heard an unexpected sound – the engine starting – and suddenly I knew that I had just witnessed something amazing. Our God really is greater than whatever is working against us. He’s bigger than our secrets, our fears, and our bad attitudes. And that day I learned that he wants nothing more than to take care of us.
Heather Bradley-Robbins writes from the Pacific Northwest.
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