14: Yellowstone or Bust

14: Yellowstone or Bust

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles Happen

Yellowstone or Bust

Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation.

~Elton Trueblood

It was a beautiful morning to tour Yellowstone National Park. Our family had traveled from Illinois, planning our detour through Yellowstone on the way to visit our son in Idaho. We had decided to travel the northern route, hoping to enjoy splendid scenery. We had traveled all night and arrived at Yellowstone early that morning.

We were just in awe of the beauty of the park. As we maneuvered a sharp turn at the top of one of the high mountains, my husband suddenly exclaimed, “Oh, no, the car is losing power!”

Our hearts fell. However, just around the curve was a place we could pull off the road. Gliding to a stop, my husband and I and our three children tumbled out of the car in dismay. We stretched our legs, wondering what to do next.

My husband always carried tools when we traveled; however, they are always packed first and are in the back of the fully packed trunk.

“Okay, everyone help unload the trunk. I have to get to my tools,” my husband said.

The children groaned as they headed for the back of the car. Everything in the trunk had to be removed to reach the tools. So we all helped set our personal belongings in neat piles.

After extracting his tools, my husband raised the hood of the car and began assessing the problem. He adjusted things here and there and would have one of us try to start the car again, all without much success. The sun was getting higher and things were warming up. The children were tiring of exploring that one area and beginning to feel hot and grouchy.

Finally he announced, “Well, I have tried everything I know how to do, so we will just have to flag someone down and get a ride for help.”

Our youngest daughter had a suggestion. “We could pray,” she said.

Stunned for a moment, my husband and I looked at each other. I know he had been praying silently and I certainly had been, but we had not thought to have a family prayer.

My husband quickly said, “Okay, gather around. Sarah, since it was your idea, why don’t you offer the prayer?”

She gave a wonderful prayer, asking our Heavenly Father to help the car to start so we could have a good day and reach our destination safely. And she prayed that we would not have any more trouble on our trip. A warm feeling, that had nothing to do with the sun or heat, enveloped our family.

As we all joined in on the “Amen,” we turned back to the car, gathered up the tools and put them back in the toolbox. Everyone helped repack the trunk, with the toolbox back in its place at the very far corner.

“Okay,” I said. “Let’s get going.”

Everyone climbed into place in the car and fastened their seat-belts without any complaints. With confidence, my husband turned the key and the engine roared! We were on our way once again.

A few minutes later, as we descended the mountain, I suddenly realized what had just happened. Our Heavenly Father had truly answered a child’s prayer and a miracle had occurred. We stopped to pause and give thanks to our Heavenly Father.

We continued on our vacation without any more problems, returning safely to Illinois, as she had asked.

~Shirley M. Oakes

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