Saturday, September 13, 2014

God Surprises Ruth Smith Meyer

This summer we planned a trip to Alberta to visit family. We’ve done it before with less unease. This time I would be doing all the driving since my dear husband has refrained from that for almost a year because of his cataracts.  It’s not that I haven’t done long distance driving—even if I usually shared the task, I have done half the distance as the sole driver.  But I am several years older.
My family questioned it, reminding me that I sometimes asked for them to drive on the busy highways.  I love my family and give serious consideration to their concern.  However driving through Northern Ontario and the Prairie Provinces is quite different than, say the 401 and Queen Elizabeth.  With prayer and conversation, we decided that if we made the days short and took our time, stopping for naps if needed, we could venture out. 

The first day, we started off under sunny skies—lovely warm but not too hot weather.  My husband had a stack of business cards from various motels where we stayed other times. We decided that New Liskard might be our first stop, but thought we’d wait to see if Cochrane was possible. 
Soon after Barrie, it started raining.  The further we went, the faster it rained and the more tense my shoulders felt. Finally, about 2:30, I suggested he call and reserve a room at the New Liskard facility for which we had a telephone number. 
“Could we reserve a room for tonight?” Paul asked,
“Sorry!  We’re fully booked for tonight.”
“Now what?” I asked as he disconnected.
“I guess we’ll just have to go and see if we can find another one.  We don’t have any more telephone numbers.”
“Oh Lord,” I prayed out loud, “Could you provide something for us?  We didn’t want to have long days, and this one is going to be long enough by the time we get to New Liskard.  We’ll just relax and trust you.”
“Amen!” Paul chimed.
When we neared the town, we prayed again, reminding the Lord of our request—as though he needed it. We saw “our” motel ahead.
“Let’s pull in there first, see if they had any cancellations before we look elsewhere,” my husband suggested.
I dashed through the rain as fast as I could with aching, stiff hips from the long sit.  I opened the door and as I approached the desk, I saw the attendant with her eyes wide open and lips apart as if in great surprise.  I wondered what was so shocking about me.  I’m too big and solid to be a ghost and I wasn’t carrying a gun.
 I asked, “Is there any chance you have a room available?”
“I do, I do!” she exclaimed. “I don’t know where it came from, but just as you drove in, I was going over my bookings and I found this empty room!  I don’t know how I could have missed it.  I thought we were fully booked this morning already and I told someone who called at about 2:30 that we had nothing available.  I still don’t know where it came from, but it’s yours if you want it.”
“We do!” I assured her.  “In fact it was we who called and we’ve been praying all afternoon that you’d have something for us.”
“Your prayers must have worked. It must be your room.” She kept shaking her head as I filled out the forms and she handed me the keys and wished us a good night’s sleep. It was obvious that she was astounded at the turn of affairs.

Now, after a busy, busy few weeks, as my day for this blog neared, I felt I was completely empty of words or thoughts to convey to our readers.  Tonight I sat down knowing it was time, but my mind was blank. 
“Lord what would you have me write, when I feel so empty.”
Immediately, the surprised eyes and open mouth of that motel attendant came into my mind. 
Sometimes life (including my writing) happens at times like that when I think my mind is just too full, like those motel rooms were—no room for inspirational thoughts—then he surprises me with something that I couldn’t conceive—a little space where I can find his love and care and know that he is here.  Reminds me of a Haldor Lillenas song my sister and I used to sing.

God was there to hear my prayer,
to lift my load of anxious care,
to every burden with me share,
God was there, yes God was there.

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Glynis said...

Love this story, Ruth. And isn't that just like God - filling the void and answering the prayer. Hopefully that wide-eyed young lady was just as impressed with the power of prayer and God as you were that day!

Love it!

Carolyn Wilker said...

Thanks for sharing your story, Ruth. Long days on the road are tiring and a body needs the rest as much as the concentrating brain.

Peter Black said...

Yes, lovely story, Ruth. I felt for you and that long drive in pouring rain, with uncertain prospects of a place to rest. A great outcome though, and a grand testimony of our Father's provision. ~~+~~

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