It was coming to be our last day in Yellowstone National Park and we wanted to get as much out of the park as we were able. We had already taken in many of the popular sites and many of the sites off the beaten path as well. But what were we to do about finding a place to spend the night?
What a glorious display of God’s handiwork can be found in Yellowstone Park. Wherever you turn there is something that makes you catch your breath and bask in the beauty that God has given in the creation of our world, recognizing that Yellowstone is just a very small part of God’s handiwork.
We thought that we would be able to find a place to spend the night in the park so we wouldn’t have to travel the long distance to get out from the park into an adjoining town. But, we were so captivated with the Grand Geyser display that we kind of overstayed our time and didn’t allow enough daylight to really find a comfortable place to sleep. So, we headed to West Yellowstone, where we had spent the previous night because we were confident of finding a spot there.
It was a Saturday night and we wanted to be near a church where we could attend worship and hear God’s Word preached. So, we found a place to sleep and got a good night’s rest so that the next day we could get our breakfast and get to church and not be late for the service.
We found a small Baptist church (First Baptist Church) with about 60-75 people attending worship that day. In fact, the picture on the front of the bulletin was a picture of the church with buffalo walking down the street directly in front of it—pretty fitting for West Yellowstone.
The people were friendly but a large majority of them were visiting the church as were we. The pastor spoke from the Scriptures and we appreciated the thoughts that he gave to us that morning. So we left the church rejoicing in the privilege of being with God’s people and worshipping together.
After we left the church and before re-entering Yellowstone Park, I wanted to try to repair a defective wire to our inverter. We were having to hold the plug into the outlet of the van in order to operate our coffee grinder (and everyone is probably aware of how important it is to us to be able to grind our coffee fresh each day). So I asked Jeeves (our GPS) if there was a Radio Shack in the city. We found there was and it was open. I arrived at the store just about a mile from the church, and was able to get the part I needed and fixed the problem. But in the process I shorted out a fuse to our cigarette lighter (we didn’t need it for cigarettes, but we were using it for recharging our iPod and iPad). The problem was that I didn’t know where the fuse block was for the van, so I had to resort to looking up the location in the user manual (I know! Pretty sad when you have to resort to that).
At that point Fred entered our lives. Fred and his wife had been in West Yellowstone for about a week and Fred was out riding his bike, saw the van hood open, and stopped to offer assistance. In the next half hour or so, we had established a brief relationship with Fred that was a blessing to us and we hope to him as well. We were happy for the opportunity to share ourselves with him and to share the love of God with him as well. Before Fred left us I was able to give him a blessing that we hope will be long remembered by him as he establishes himself in the West Yellowstone community.
While Bonnie and I traveled back into the park, we were both taken by the love of our Lord who gives direction to us so that we are in the place where we need to be at the time we need to be there. We believe that God directed us back to West Yellowstone for the night and that He gave us direction to the church where we worshipped with His people, and He brought Fred across our path to give us a new opportunity to let His light shine through us.
So, was it just happenstance that took place? Or was it just the natural working of day to day living? Or was it an appointment by God for us? We’re opting for the third choice because as we submit ourselves each day to following the Lord Jesus Christ, we are finding that He does indeed direct our steps and gives us opportunities to let His love flow through us to the people that come across our path.
PS. If you’re in West Yellowstone this summer, or in Yuma, Arizona this winter, and have a problem with your RV, look up Fred Laurents (The RV Fixit Pro)—he’s a professional RV repairman, and a really nice guy!