It all began “according to plan.” A bus full of elementary age students and adult leaders destined for the much-anticipated Kids Camp somewhere far, far away in northern Kansas. I was looking forward to shaking off the rust from church bus driving. I was excited.
We were all excited, we were on schedule, and everything seemed to be going according to plan. Despite a couple of minor vehicular malfunctions, we were on our way.
After heavy rains in the area the night before, we were aware of the potential for flooding, but had been on the road for a while with no trouble in sight. Until there was, in the form of a giant sign that read, “Road Closed Ahead.” It took very little time to see why. Recent flooding had overtaken the road or what was left of it anyway. No problem, “Turn left and “we’ll be fine.” I thought. “There’s another way around this deal.” Upon turning left, I discovered to every bus driver’s dream (nightmare actually), an unpaved rain-soaked Kansas country road. We then began our descent down a mud covered hill which quickly served as a reminder there would be no way to get back up the same hill, too soft, not passible.
This brought us to the proverbial “T” in the road. We now had two choices. Or so we thought. We looked to the right, the flooded river had recently overtaken this road as well. Now what seemed like multiple choice in the beginning was down to one. Turning right was not an option, returning the way we came was out of the picture. So with the encouragement of a local, we took the only way left. As it turns out, turning left was not a viable option either. The bus tires quickly sunk into the saturated mud road and we were now stuck, unable to make it up the hill. The local who came by to help? Stuck. Our other church vehicle that we could send for help, sunk in the ditch.
As we dialed for help, something ironic, or maybe not so ironic stood out to me. The shirt I was wearing. A shirt I hadn’t worn in a while, it was from a series we did in our student ministry back in Illinois. The front of the shirt reads, “RESCUE.” The back of the shirt, “Help has arrived.”
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2
I quickly dismissed the notion. Frustrated and embarrassed by the situation, I was beginning to wonder what else could go wrong. But my eyes were quickly opened to what was unfolding before my eyes, a sharp contrast in perspective. Adult leaders were praying and playing with the kids, other adult leaders were working together to ensure the safety of the students, and before I knew it, help had already arrived. Local law enforcement quickly towed the bus out and had us back on the road in relatively short order.
And so, it got me to thinking, how many times in life does it seem like whatever choice we make, or direction we choose, it seems to be the wrong one? We find ourselves stuck, trapped, with nowhere to go. We wonder if we’ll ever get out of the mess we’ve put ourselves in. So, we cry out to God wondering why this is happening to us. We plead for help in the situation. But the truth is there’s often something to be learned, a bigger perspective. Even in our most desperate (an/or embarrassing moments), God is listening. He is still there. There’s no reason to worry, your help has already arrived.