February 27, 2021
By David VanEpps
It was the Tuesday after Memorial Day, and I wasn’t in a good mood. Every day of the long weekend had been spent on the boat, enjoying the beautiful Michigan weather. Today it was back to work, and I wasn’t able to get my usual early morning flight to Dallas. As with most short weeks, it was a jam-packed day, so by the time five o’clock rolled around, I wanted to relax and unwind. Instead, I ended up spending my evening in the air.
I arrived in Dallas at about 10pm and grabbed an Uber. I usually get some work done on the ride, but for some reason unknown to me, tonight was different. Instead of working, I engaged and talked with the driver. After some small talk, she told me her night was supposed to end before picking me up, but because she was already at the airport and I was going to a hotel very close to her home, she decided to take one more job. She said this rarely happens and that it was odd for her to be working this late. I explained that I rarely travel on Tuesday evenings, so it was just as odd for me to be in this place at this time.
During the ride, she explained that driving was a part-time job because she had a child with special needs. She shared that it had been tough lately and was wearing on her and her husband, as they weren’t seeing many signs of hope for their son’s improvement. My friends Fred and Judy have a son with special needs. Fred has always told me that he believes God chose them as his parents as a way to strengthen their relationship with God and each other. I agree and truly believe that God carefully chooses only the best of the best to parent children with special needs. I spent a few minutes sharing Fred’s story of hope and faith with my Uber driver. I reassured her that God has a special plan for her life, her marriage, and her son.
For what seemed like minutes, there was nothing but crickets, and I could tell something was stirring inside her. Finally, she responded with, “Wow, I guess I’ve been looking at it the wrong way. You’ll never know how much I needed to hear that. Thank you.”
Then she said, “As long as we’re at it, I have another problem. Can you help me here too?” We both chuckled, and the mood lightened. She then explained that she and her husband had rental property that the renters completely destroyed, and they were being told the house was worthless. We talked about it, and finally I asked, “Is the property local, and have you been checking on it along the way?” She said, “No, it’s on a small island up north that you’ve never heard of.” I don’t know why, but I said, “Try me.” She said, “Ok. I’ll play. It’s called Harsens Island.” Now the crickets were on my side.
I said, “You’re not going to believe this, but I live five miles from Harsens Island. I can see it from my house, and I spent the entire weekend boating around it, except for Saturday morning, when I was riding my bike on the island roads.” The crickets again took over. I’m not sure she believed me at first, and I couldn’t figure out how or why this was all happening.
We were both stunned, and we talked about the island, some common places, and I even shared that we ate at Sans Souci restaurant the night before. She said, “Our rental property is just a few houses from Sans Souci. That’s my favorite restaurant in the world, and we were great friends with the owners when we lived there.” I said, “Then you don’t have a problem, because even if the house is destroyed, I have to believe that any property on Harsens Island is worth a small fortune.” She couldn’t believe it as they hadn’t been back there in 25 years. It was a retirement property they had bought way back when.
By this time, we were pulling up to my hotel. She stopped the car, looked back, and said, “I was about to go home. I had no intention of taking another job, and I have no idea why I did. I also have no idea where you came from or why you’re in this car, but those two areas of my life have been spiraling out of control and causing nothing but trouble. Now, I have a renewed sense of hope. I can’t wait to share all this with my husband – I’m sure he will feel the same way I do.”
I told her that I too couldn’t explain how we ended up in this conversation. Without God’s hand being in this, the odds of this happening were beyond the realm of possibility. There were too many seemingly impossible coincidences for this to be a random coincidence. God had put us both at that place and at that time for a reason.
As I started to get out of the car, I looked at her and said, “The only explanation I can come up with is that God has a beautiful plan for your life, and you just needed some hope. Maybe He wanted me to give you that hope. I pray God blesses you and your family immensely.” Tears were streaming down her face, as she struggled to get the words “thank you” out. After checking into the hotel and getting to my room, I looked out the window and saw that the car hadn’t moved. I could see she was still sitting there, likely processing what had just happened.
God knew what He was doing that day. He knew what He was doing when I didn’t get my usual flight and ended up on a very rare Tuesday evening flight, He knew what He was doing when he had her take one more job.
The next time you’re unhappy with your circumstances, remember that God may not be putting you where you want to be but rather where He needs you to be.