Have you ever heard of Providence? Your first thought when you hear or see this word is most likely the Capital of the state of Rhode Island, right? It’s a really neat place, if you’ve ever had the opportunity to visit this city. My only trip there was way back in the year 2000, on business, and I was fortunate to also be able to take my whole family along for some sightseeing and a little getaway. We were able to split up the trip into 2 days, stopping off overnight in Jersey, just across the river from the mighty Big Apple, and were able to take a tour of the Statue of Liberty! What a beautiful sight to see, and a historical moment in our lives, with plenty of pictures as remembrances, especially the one I took of my wife and our boys with a backdrop of the Twin Towers!
Then onward we journeyed, after this magical day, to our final destination, for the main purpose of my trip….business in Providence. The meetings were great, as usual, and the family got to have some fun in this nostalgic old city. Two of the best memories I have of Providence, Rhode Island, were the family entertainment at a restaurant called “Dave & Buster’s”, and the visit to one of the many lighthouses that don the rocky Atlantic coastline in that area of New England.
I have not been able to return yet to that beautiful capital city in the Northeast, but I have had the blessed privilege of occasionally experiencing a Providence of another kind, and most recently, one also involving a road trip.
Instead of traveling northeast on this trek, our family was headed southeast….for a little mini-vacation to Myrtle Beach. And along this highway journey, again towards the Atlantic Coast, we encountered Providence yet again….but not the city. This time it was the mighty Providence of God; His awesome guiding Hand on our lives! On one stretch of Interstate 73, our car suddenly had a major tire blowout, so severe that the object I ran over punctured not only the tire, but also the aluminum rim it was on! I had never seen anything like this in all my fifty years. Praise God for his protection!
As defined by Webster’s Dictionary, “providence” means “divine guidance or care”. Our family definitely experienced God’s guidance and care on that eventful day!
Not only did He allow me to safely steer the car from the passing lane over to the berm of the roadway, he protected my son and I against high-speed traffic in rainy weather as we put the temporary spare on the driver’s side rear. After we returned to the interstate, and found refuge at McDonald’s at the next exit, I began praying about whether to carefully and slowly continue on to our destination with the spare, or seek a nearby tire and rim dealer that may still be open on this late Friday afternoon in early August.
Providence was there that day, not in Rhode Island, but in North Carolina. We searched and found several Hyundai dealers, and finally one indeed had the needed rim in stock! Divine guidance and care was at work, preparing the way. After purchasing the new rim at the dealer, the Parts guy was gracious enough to call around the city for an “open late” tire shop.
Providence was found again. A tire facility was located in the same local area that not only had the size of tire we needed, but the business stayed open untll 8pm. Because of divine guidance and care, we were able to have the work done soon, and continue on to our beach destination for a late-night, but providentially safe, arrival. God had amazingly granted every need we had due to that unexpected event. When things looked precarious, Providence prevailed!
The Bible may only mention the word “providence” once, and that referring to the kindness of a Roman politician (Acts 24:2), but there are many verses which speak of our Father’s divine care and guidance in our lives. One of my favorites is Philippians 4:19: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” What a comforting truth!
Although I would love to return for an evening at “Dave & Buster’s” and other fun sites in that great northeastern Capital city, I am thrilled that we as believers in Christ can enjoy a visit to spiritual Providence any day, especially when we least expect the trip!