“Does God guide? Yes, I believe that he does. Most times he guides in subtle ways, by feeding ideas into our minds…” – Philip Yancey.
Jake and I were on a long road trip years ago. I can’t recall where we were going, but we were driving through Missouri and we’d planned to take a day to canoe a river that was along our route.
It would have been a Sunday, but on the Friday before, an idea popped into Jake’s head.
“Keep the Sabbath like Eric Liddell.”
We talked about how the Bible says that one day a week is to be a special day for God and how we don’t obey that seriously like Eric Liddell did.
Since it seemed like God had put that random idea into Jake’s mind, we decided to skip the canoeing and booked a one-room cabin for Saturday and Sunday nights, thinking we would make Sunday a true Sabbath rest day.
The cabin was simple, with a wooden porch, a picnic table outside, and a comfy king-size bed filling the whole inside.
On Sunday morning we had a long ‘lie-in’ – listened to some Bible teaching, had an important discussion and prayer time.
It was a slow, blessed day; a gift from God.
We were especially thankful because, unbeknownst to us, that very weekend was the opening of fishing season.
That very Saturday and Sunday, it was crazy around there. All along that river, parking lots were stuffed with trucks and campers, and riverbanks were crowded with people, lawn chairs, coolers, poles, and flying lines and hooks, etc.
It would have been impossible to canoe.
But God had guided us to that sweet hide-away cabin.
I was grateful we acted on Jake’s random idea inspired by Eric Liddell.
You’ve probably heard of him. Eric Liddell was born in 1902 to Scottish missionary parents in China. He became a missionary in that same country, and that is where he died in a POW concentration camp.
“His faithful service to King Jesus is often eclipsed by his extraordinary gift as a runner and his brilliant performance in the 1924 Olympics in Paris, where he won a gold medal.
His career as a world champion runner was made famous in the 1982 movie Chariots of Fire. He is accurately portrayed as a man fully surrendered to God whose conviction concerning the Lord’s Day led him to refuse to run on Sunday during the Olympics.” (from “10 Who Changed the World” by Daniel Akin.)
Even during his time of Communist imprisonment, Eric was known as a dedicated and happy Christian. “In the squalor . . . and disease of the crowded camp, without the faithful and cheerful support of Eric Liddell, many people would never have been able to manage.”
Isn’t it amazing, how God uses a life like his, for years after his death, to support and inspire, guide and teach people, like me?
And isn’t it wonderful how God guided us to that little cabin in Missouri just so He could bless us?
I feel so happy remembering this story.
Thanks for listening!