Pastor’s Email Devotion – Mary Ann Frontz, Guest Devotioneer
Devotion for Sunday, August 23, 2015
Last Sunday “Why are you so afraid?” was the question in the sermon series Questions God Can’t Answer. Hearing Vicar Karen’s story in her sermon of their family pulling the camper up and down Beartooth Mountain with her husband at the wheel reminded me of a camping experience that Clint & I had about 40 years ago.
When our son Chip was about three years old, we took a road trip, pulling our pop-up camper, to the horse country of Kentucky. We enjoyed seeing some beautiful horse farms and the statue commemorating the famous racehorse, Secretariat. On our camping trips, we usually took advantage of the many State Parks around the country and we planned on camping at Kentucky’s Daniel Boone State Park. As Clint was driving and I was reading the map (these were the days before the luxury of a GPS!), I thought I saw a shortcut to get to the park. In following this “shortcut,” we got totally lost in the Kentucky Mountains! We found ourselves on a back-country road, not knowing where we were, when we saw a woman walking on the road and stopped to ask directions. “Go to the stop sign and turn left,” she said. Thankfully we proceeded to the stop sign, only to find ourselves facing a five-way intersection and not knowing whether to take the sharp left or the soft left. Needless to say, we made the wrong decision and took the soft left, which led us up a secluded road along the side of the mountain! We went up this one-lane road, sharp drop on the left and straight up the mountain on the right, and I was getting more nervous by the minute. All of a sudden a gate appeared across the road in front of us bearing a sign, “ROAD CLOSED.” What were we to do? At this point I was really scared! Here we were on a secluded road in the boonies of the Kentucky Mountains, our three-year-old in his car seat in the back, pulling a camper, and no visible way to turn around.
Clint, having noticed a small space among the trees about 100 yards back down the road, said, “We’ll have to leave Chip in the car, unhook the camper, and you and I will hold onto it and guide it downhill to the turnaround.” There being no other choice, Clint and I unhooked the heavy camper and together we held it from rolling down the road and guided it to the turnaround. I was so frightened! The whole time I was holding onto the camper with all my might and praying over and over, “Dear God, please help us; we need help; please help us!”
As we got the camper to the turnaround, an old dilapidated car came creeping up this desolate road. The man driving rolled down his window and said, “Do you need help?” I distinctly remember going up to him and saying, “I am so glad to see you!” As the man and his wife helped us to reattach the camper to our car, we told them we were trying to find Daniel Boone State Park. “We’ll lead you there; that is where we are staying!” they said. With many right and left turns, we followed them to the park (we would never have found it ourselves), and we waved goodbye to the man and wife as we entered the park. We were there for about two or three nights, and we never saw them again!
Why would these people have been on that desolate road that led nowhere? Why did they turn up exactly at the time we needed help? Was it only a coincidence that they were staying at the same park we were trying to find? Why did we not see them again during our stay there? I believe these people were truly angels sent by God to help us in our time of need!
Dear God, we know that you are constantly with us, in the frightening and scary times as well as in the good times. Help us to remember to trust you with all of our hearts and to know that deep trust in you will replace the fear that seems to be so close to the surface. You are our rock, our shield, and our protection. Thank you for being with us and loving us so much! Amen.