At the onset of a new August evening, I walked alone down the red wooden plank steps to the lake and sat down near the water to pray. I needed a word from the Lord on direction for our lives, and I knew God was beckoning me deep in my heart to come before him.
I prayed for a time and then heard a strange sound. Looking up, I saw high in the sky in the light of the setting sun a huge flight of geese in "V" formation, headed south.
My attention was also drawn toward a flashing red beacon tower on the horizon toward the south end of the lake, clearly seen in the distant twilight. Then God spoke in my heart.
"I'm taking you south!" he said.
"South? South to where?" I asked. "South to Massachusetts or south back to New York? Where south?"
"South to Florida," he said.
"South to Florida! Why Florida?" I ventured to ask.
"Because I am gathering my people together," he said. I didn't know what he meant. But I knew He knew what he meant! My task was to obey.
Mary and I hustled to pack our home and prepare to leave. We were ready for a change, but the work of packing and the lack of funds wore at my wife.
I phoned through the morning hours one day and finally found a rental trailer for the low low price of $25 to haul to Florida. What a deal! The catch was I needed to drive north over an hour to get it. I invited my young son, Brian, along for the ride.
When I arrived at the distribution center deep in a forest area, a lovely country lady with freckles nicely hooked up the hitch, safety chains, and red tail lights. Brian and I started our trip toward home. Almost a half hour out along the country roads, a safety chain broke off the trailer and clanged violently as it beat the pavement. Not good!
I turned the rig around in the road very carefully and drove at moderate speeds to return to the distribution center. The young woman came out, picked one remaining trailer and hooked it to my station wagon.
Brian and I, once again, headed south for home, a little more tired and "worse for the wear." On the way home, I prayed at length for my wife's distress and glorified God for our divine mission to travel.
"In everything give thanks: for this is the will of Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess. 5:18 KJ).
After I pulled the trailer into the garage, I entered the kitchen door and found my wife crying tears at the kitchen stove with steamy pots, fixing supper. I listened quietly with her as she shared her woes.
She cried from the frustration of trying to reduce a household of five children to fit the space of a five by eight foot trailer.
During the day, she carefully measured everything, the dressers, the table, the boxes. She cut the ladder-back dining room chairs down so they would stack. She drew on paper and measured off the baby's crib mattress, planning just the things we could fit in the trailer.
She gave away our washer and dryer. She gave our Boston Rocker to an elderly woman in the church. My wife planned to take just the very bare necessities.
"How do we really know this is God's will?" she cried.
Trying to remind her of the geese didn't seem the right thing to do at the time.
Recovering after a moment of careful prayer, I gave Brian the broom and asked him to go sweep out the trailer. Brian headed out the kitchen door. In a moment, he came rushing back.
"Mommy! Mommy!" he shouted with glee. "Look what I found!" He was holding high in his hand a shiny silver cross.
As he hand-swept the empty trailer, inside the front left corner he found lying in the dust a little homemade, silver, stainless steel cross."
Mary rejoiced! God showed her he was with us. He assured her with the sign of this shiny silver cross.
Later, I finished packing the trailer and our family prepared to leave the house. I knew I was deep into a moment of faith. Here we were prepared to leave Maine for Florida and I counted only thirty-two dollars in my pocket! I gulped and made the decision to act in faith. We would drive out and leave the trip to God.
“This trip is yours God!” I said to my Heavenly Father.
Just then, a car drove in carrying a few church people. Kindly, they presented us a money tree from the congregation. It amounted to $350! We praised God as we left that evening.
But the miracle wasn't over.
As we traveled south, we visited friends along the way in Boston, in New York on the Hudson, in Virginia Beach, and in North and Central Florida. They not only fed us a grand supper to eat and beds to spend the night, but each couple unexpectedly gave us a sacrificial gift. We arrived in South Florida with $1400 to start our new assignment for God.
"And he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live” (Acts 17:26 NIV).
(True Story #19 in series Life is 100 Million Miracles.)
Thanks so much for sharing your story. If only every believer would share how GOD guided and took care of them what a wonderful thing that would be. If we spent our days sharing these experiences, we would not have time left to complain, would we? Our God is so good!!!!