I haven’t shared many personal stories of our little family lately, but after today’s events especially, I felt the need to tell you about it. Today we were finally able to move to another RV Park. The state of Florida had opened back up (kinda), and we packed up our moving home this morning to go elsewhere. The camping membership we hold allows us to camp for free as long as we shuffle between parks within our membership, and even a couple of weeks free at sister parks. It just so happened we had been at a sister park when the Governor decided to lock down the state. The company communication we had received early April said if we happened to be in a sister park we wouldn’t be kicked out, but we would be required to pay rent. We initially tried to get back to our home base park, but when it became apparent we weren’t being allowed to move by law we accepted our fate. No anxiety, no stress. We knew God would provide.
I paid the park around thirty days of lot rent, and we settled down to ride this one out, come what may. It was closer to work, at least, and we focused on bright sides like that. The day after our payment I received a call back from them to inform me they would be refunding our money.
Her exact words were, “we were told not to charge you for your stay.”
I didn’t ask who told them that, but rather took the good news with a smile. I’m connected with other members through social media, and it became apparent that not everyone (in fact, no one I knew of) received this same exception. I saw a lot of people angry over having to pay out of pocket. I don’t know if it was because I’m a nurse, but I just took it as a God is good to us moment and moved on.
I just had to share that story, but that’s not even the real message of my post today. As we seek God’s will He continues to bless us more than we deserve, and the above was simply another example of that.
But back to moving… we worked together in fluid motion, despite sitting in one spot for a month and a half. We were just about ready to roll, but as we closed up the slides we hit a snag. I watched one of the three close, but then nothing.
I heard Ben say, “ut-oh. We got a problem.”
The slides had stopped going in, and I knew this could be a number of things, some being quite costly. But even putting the financial aspect aside, we didn’t really need the delay. I had a few days off, and we were taking a much-needed getaway after we moved our RV. We had found a secluded state park, and since the children had not left the house in 8 weeks, we were all excited for the trip. Naturally I wondered if we’d even make it.
My husband ran through all the things he knew to do. The awning also wouldn’t move, so we knew it was a power issue, not just a slide issue, thank the Lord. He checked fuses, breakers, GFC outlets, the power box outside. When we came up empty on our end, we wondered if perhaps it was a problem at the electric box. So I called the park office, and they said they’d send a maintenance man out to check their box.
As I stood outside wondering what it might be I felt led to pray this. “Lord, what do you want to show us through this? How can you use this situation to impact your kingdom?”
See, I’ve learned something through the years. Ever heard that old adage “everything happens for a reason?” Well, while it sounds cliche, it’s actually true. Although some problems arise because of our own poor decisions rather than God’s will, I am of the belief that He has His hands in all things, especially when we invite Him to be a part of all of our life. I was the kind of person that knew delays were part of God’s plan, whether to protect me or redirect me, and I trusted Him no matter what the situation. Time and time again He had proven His ability to work all things for our good, and I had come to a place in my life where I also wanted Him to use me for His good. Hence, the “how can you use this” question. He had done so much (and continues to do so much) for us that I desired to do for Him.
Within a few minutes of my prayer a golf cart rolled up, and I knew immediately the why. As I watched the maintenance guy and my husband speak together I had no doubt in my mind. This was the purpose for our problem. I was to pray for this man.
Now, before you misunderstand, it’s not that I felt my prayers specifically were the key to this man’s salvation. God is all powerful and able to do as He wills, but the fact is He likes to get His children involved. It’s like a family business, and Poppa gives His kids the keys to His empire, and all the tools they need to run it like He models. When His children pray, filled with His power and strength, they are able to make things move in the spiritual realm, and I felt like there was a spiritual battle going on for this man’s soul.
I felt like this man had a part to play, much like we all do, and God needed him in our family to work His purposes for his future. It’s like life is similar to the ripples on a lake after a stone is thrown. You never know how the waves you make when you jump in will impact people on the shore, for generations to come even. I didn’t know what the Lord had in mind for this man, but I felt like it was important. I felt like my prayers were strengthening the angel armies, like a battle cry prior to sounding the charge, and it helped tip the fight in the favor of good.
The gentleman didn’t stick around long before he determined there wasn’t a problem with their box, but he had shown up long enough for me to know to pray for him. And boy, did I! Meanwhile we knew the problem rested with our rig, and like a veil was lifted suddenly I heard my husband pronounce, “I think I figured it out.”
It was something he had already checked, right at first, and somehow missed. As he set to check the issue I knew in my heart this would fix it. God’s purpose had prevailed, and we could go now. Sure enough, the slides went in, we hooked up, and we took off. Somehow we were only 30 minutes behind schedule, even though that snafu had seemed much longer.
I felt such joy as we drove away, and not because we had escaped a hefty repair bill, or even due to the white, sandy beach that awaited me. I felt joy because of Jesus, and I have never felt so full than I do when I live a life loving and serving Him. I’ve discovered that a life serving the Lord isn’t perfect and without pain. A perfect life would have let us move to our home base RV Park when we tried to, but then I never would have seen how God can move mountains out of the way for me. A perfect life would contain slides that never stopped working, but then I would not have seen how God can use me to work in the middle of my mess, for His glory.