I was just thinking the other day how wonderful God has been in my life. That’s not to say life has always been easy, but I can honestly say that God has never failed and, quite often, amazed me at different times in our lives. I know that sounds like an over-used cliche, but I can only write about what has been real in my life and convey to you my total confidence that God will do the same for you. I was specifically remembering an incident in my life that happened approximately 15 years ago when I was visiting my daughter living in Taiwan, at the time. It’s a story that I will never forget and will always remind me of how God protects me.
On this particular day, we had decided to rent a car in Taiwan (which is another story in and of itself) and drive approximately 2 hours south to the tip of the island to a beautiful seaside beach resort. As we expected, we arrived at the beach, had a wonderful time, and enjoyed the beautiful sand and water. I could have stayed there for weeks—-it was that beautiful—-but it was time to head back to our home city.
As we started back driving down the interstate, I noticed that the car began to skip slightly. I didn’t worry too much because we were only about an hour away from home. Since it was a rental car, I intended to make it back to the rental office with no problem. Unfortunately, after a few more miles, the car simply died on the interstate. Luckily, I managed to steer it to the side of the interstate out of harm’s way—or so I thought.
Just to give you a picture, all 6 of us (myself, my wife, my son,my daughter and son-in-law and their one month old infant) were stranded an hour from home, on the interstate, in the middle of Taiwan. We didn’t know anyone. We didn’t know what to do. My son-in-law had his cell phone with him and decided to call a friend to come rescue us. The call connected and the cell phone battery died. No power. Now what?
After some talking among ourselves, we decided that my son and my son-in-law would walk to the nearest exit and call for help from there. The rest of us would wait in the car until they returned. A few moments after the two of them were out of sight, a Taiwanese tow truck screeched up behind us. Out marches the tow truck operator speaking Taiwanese and motioning wildly. I couldn’t understand a word he said. Fortunately, my daughter understood enough to figure out that, in Taiwan, it was against the law to stay parked on the side of the road. He was required by law to tow us to the next exit. We panicked. If he towed us, how were our son and son-in -law ever going to find us? They couldn’t call us? It was no use arguing. The tow truck operator hooked up the car; told us to stay in the car and off we went. I was panicking; my wife was irate; my daughter was crying; the baby was screaming. And, we were getting towed by at Taiwanese tow truck to who knew where.
Somehow, upon our arrival at the exit, my daughter was able to get the tow truck driver to finally understand our predicament. But he didn’t seem all that interested in helping us. Suddenly, without warning, the cell phone that we thought was dead, rang. We answered and it was our son-in-law looking for us. He and my son had ridden back with another tow truck operator to our original spot on the interstate and, of course, we weren’t there. We had no idea how to even tell him where to come find us. He asked his tow truck operator to speak to our tow truck operator. As it turned out, they were best friends and knew exactly where each other had driven. They talked, got their directions together, and immediately the phone battery died again.
Once we were reunited, our tow truck operator agreed to tow our car to the nearest repair facility. We were told and later verified that, in Taiwan, rental repairs are the responsibility of the person renting!!! Now what do we do? We were being towed to a repair facility to pay for repairs that would cost who knew what!!
We got to the repair facility and were told that the problem was the alternator. This was a Sunday night by the way and the repair facility was still open for business. The price he quoted was $85.68 American dollars. We had no access to an ATM or a way to get funds. I opened my wallet and got all the money I had. My wife pulled all of the cash she had from her purse. My son-in-law and my daughter did the same thing. My son placed his cash in the pool. Once we had every penny we could muster, we added up our funds and the total we had was——you guessed it——exactly $85.68.
After a couple of hours waiting for the repair, it was off we went for the rest of the journey home. What started out with the potential for disaster ended up with a mighty display of God’s perfect power and protection.
Think about it: we had a cell phone work at a critical moment when we thought it was dead; we had two tow truck operators in all of Taiwan that actually knew each other and were friends; we had a repair facility that was open late Sunday night; and we had exactly the right amount of cash we needed.
I don’t believe it was coincidence. I believe it was God’s protection and grace proving, once again, that we have nothing to worry about as long as our trust is in HIM.
To Whom or to What are you placing your faith?
“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.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)