Perfect Timing

By Marcy Barthelette

Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the counsel of the Lord will stand. Proverbs 19:21 NASB

The rain finally stopped and the temperature was really feeling like summer. Ken came in from working in the yard last Friday and wondered if there might be a campsite open at Mill Creek campground. It’s one of the many Corps of Engineers parks that dot the shores of Beaver, Table Rock, and Bull Shoals Lakes and it’s our favorite. The bad thing about that is that it’s also everyone else’s favorite. I pulled up their website thinking there was no way we would find a site for Saturday night, maybe Sunday, but the weekend? Lo and behold, there were several sites, two we were familiar with and two we had no interest in. I booked one of them and the race was on to get everything ready to go. The camper needed some cleaning, clothing had to be packed. We had accomplished some of the major cleanups prior to an anticipated earlier trip that was canceled. We were really ready to get on the road for our first trip of the season.

Part of my routine is to turn on the refrigerator the night before so that it gets good and cold. Since it would be our first time out, I double-checked again before bedtime and my ice cube trays were freezing nicely, so all seemed well. We got a good night’s sleep, I got up and watered all my plants in preparation for hot, dry days, finished loading non-perishables and when I once again checked the frig, it was not cooling. I passed my wonderful discovery on to Ken and he set about reading the operator’s manual, searching on YouTube, and checking electrical connections. In the end, we set it to battery operation and, after a time, ice began to skim over once again. I filled the now cooling frig, grabbed a quick shower and we were on the road.

An hour and a half later, we backed into our site, our wonderful waterfront site which was in full sun on a 90º day. It was then that we realized our frig was, in fact, not cooling and our AC couldn’t drop the inside temp below 88º because of the extreme sunlight. We really weren’t sure what to do, but we decided to take a walk and just enjoy the beauty all around us. At least half of the campsites in the park were still closed because of floodwater from all our spring rain. Of the sixty-seven sites, forty-seven are on a peninsula, putting them at prime risk. Some were still underwater and others were inaccessible because the roadway was covered.

As we walked, we noticed that a site we had seen and liked last year was empty and the camper pad was surrounded by lovely shade trees. We headed back and Ken stopped by the gatehouse to find out the story on the empty site. As it turned out, the people who had reserved it had confused their arrival date and they were going to transfer to a different site the second day anyway, so we were able to get that site for our two-day stay. We packed everything back into the camper and moved to the new site still wondering what that refrigerator was going to do.

After we were settled, Ken addressed the situation again and learned that to reset the frig, it is necessary to turn the breaker off and back on again so he did. We enjoyed a nice dinner that I had prepared in advance and then went for a walk to check out the flood damage. There was an amazing breeze that kept us cool even though the thermometer said it was hot and we were treated to an extraordinary sunset. When we went in for the evening, we found ice cubes in the freezer and everything seemed well chilled throughout the frig. I went to bed with a prayer of gratitude for a frig that was working, safety while traveling, and a huge thank you for all the beauty around us. The entire remainder of our spontaneous trip was just lovely. We visited with some really nice folks and hated to leave when the time came. But all earthly things do have an end.

I believe God was in charge of that trip from the moment Ken was inspired to ask me to check on sites. He kept giving us hope, with each new thing we tried, that the frig would work. He gave us campground volunteers who found a way to offer a site we hadn’t even known was available and provided the shade we needed to keep everything cool. He treated us to that incredible sunset and we even enjoyed a beautiful campfire, from a distance. It was still a little too warm to sit near. The hot dogs we roasted were delicious and our “ice cold” watermelon surely hit the spot. What more could a person ask? What began with questions and concerns turned out to be a wonderful trip and all we needed to do was turn over control to God for it to happen. Our plans may seem great at the time but His plan is always the best. We just have to get out of the way and let Him lead us.

Lord, forgive me. My agenda is earthly, but yours is eternal.

Buck Storm, Daily Guideposts 2022

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