You Can Be Used by God on Your Way to The National Parks
Copyright 20014 Bruce S. Herwig
If God wants you to do a good work that He has prepared for you in advance, He will arrange circumstances; no matter how impossible they may seem, so His will be accomplished.
While living in Southern California, we received an invitation to our niece, Genevieve’s wedding. She was going to be married to Chad in the fall of 2014 in the ski resort of Telluride, Colorado. My wife, Carol, and I then planned a driving vacation to visit several National Parks on the way to and from the wedding and also to enjoy the beautiful fall colors. We ended up visiting seven National Parks.
The town of Telluride and the wedding and surroundings were wonderful and special. It was also a fun family reunion time with all my siblings and spouses.
One especially interesting portion of the marriage ceremony was that the two newlyweds were going to plant a Quaking Aspen tree as a symbol of their enduring love and commitment to each other. Why a Quaking Aspen tree?
It was explained to us that the roots of all Quaking Aspens trees that grow from this one tree will be attached to each other and will become one system, connected by their roots to become a close family. In effect, all the trees will act as one tree. All at the same time: the new leaf buds will appear. The leaves will reach maturity. The leaves will start to turn to their fall color. The unique fall color will be the same. And the leaves will all die and fall off together. No matter how many hundreds of Aspen trees are of the same family. When a radioactive isotope is placed in the ground near a single tree, this isotope will within weeks be found in every tree of the family. This common root system makes one family of Quaking Aspen trees the largest living organism on earth. What a beautiful image of family closeness.
Now, whenever we see Quaking Aspen trees in the spring or fall, we can easily spot the Aspen family. They will be all at the same stage of getting new leaves, or turning their fall colors, usually yellow. They will be the same shade of color and/or will all be in the same stage of losing their leaves.
After the wonderful wedding and celebration with our family, we left before breakfast to drive to see the nearby Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. We had planned on stopping for breakfast in the nearby town of Montrose. As we entered Montrose, we stopped by a fast food restaurant. However, it would not open until later, so we continued on until we passed a local restaurant. We turned around and after parking, we walked by two motorcycles on our way inside.
As the hostess lead us to our table Carol and I were talking. We were astounded to hear a familiar voice saying, “That sounds like Bruce and Carol Herwig!” We turned and there sitting in a booth was our longtime friend from Southern California, Tom, and his friend and fellow missionary with Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU), Wayne.
We were delighted to join them for breakfast. We could hardly wait to hear their story of how they had happened to be in this small town off the main highways in rural Colorado, and at this local restaurant at the exact same time in the middle of the week during late morning. We all lived 4 states and nearly 800 miles away. How could -- and why did--this happen?
It turned out that the two motorcycles we passed were theirs. They had decided to ride their motorcycles to and from their homes in Southern California to Colorado Springs where there was a JESUS Film Project event for major ministry partners. They were now on their way home and had stopped for a late breakfast. We told them about our niece’s wedding in Telluride and then our plan to visit the nearby National Park and how the other restaurant was closed we had stopped and how we had to turn around to get to this restaurant. We prayed as the meal arrived and thanked God for this special God planned meeting. We had an enjoyable breakfast and discussion of the JESUS Project and National Parks. We all left still pondering our unbelievable chance meeting. Did God have an ultimate purpose for this meeting? It would not take too long before this question was answered.
A month later, I received a surprise call from Wayne. He told me that he had called Tom for a real estate lawyer referral. Tom reminded him of our meeting in Montrose and gave him my phone number. Wayne explained his problem with a tenant who had just rented his home. The morning after the rental agreement had been signed, there was a newspaper article about his new tenant’s involvement in drug dealing and other illegal activities. This knowledge of their new tenant immediately caused him and his wife much anguish and stress. He told me he and his wife had prayed for God’s wisdom on what they should do. After listening to his story, I believed I knew how to solve his problem. We prayed for God’s wisdom and direction before the call ended.
Immediately I called the tenant and explained the law and the fact that my client would not rent the house to him because of the false information he had given on the rental application concerning drugs and criminal activities. I further told him that the rental agreement was therefore void and he had no right to move into this house. The tenant reluctantly agreed that the he understood the owner’s concern and that he would not move into the house.
Then I called Wayne and told him the good news and recommended he change all the locks on the house if he had given the tenant a key. We realized that God had known that Wayne would need my services even before they were needed, so he had arranged for us to meet in Montrose. Without this chance meeting, the outcome could have been much different. We prayed and thanked God for allowing us to meet in this most amazing way. Wayne hung up with no more rental problems and no more stress.
PS: On our way home, we stopped in Richfield, Utah at a motel for the night. While checking in, I told the motel clerk what I had learned about the Quaking Aspen. To my surprise, he told me he knew all about them, and that only 20 miles away was the world’s largest stand of Quaking Aspens, located in Fishlake National Forest. He gave me directions, and the next morning, we drove there to see them. This family of Quaking Aspens is truly the largest living organism on earth, covering 106 acres (1.66 square miles) and weighing over 6600 tons.
What is the chance of me talking to a motel clerk about Quaking Aspen and learning that the largest living organism on earth was located just 20 miles from the motel so we could visit it while we were nearby?
Isn’t God awesome!!!
"Whatever is good and perfect comes down from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we out of all creation, became his prized possession."
James 1:16-18 (NIV)
"…keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross."
Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)
"If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
But when you ask him, be sure your faith is in God alone."
James 1:5-6 (NIV)
"The Lord is close to the broken hearted: he rescues those whose spirits are crushed."
Psalm 34:18 (NIV)