Every one of us has times when we need to know things will get better. My declaration is that that is precisely what the gospel of Jesus Christ offers us, especially in times of need.
Thirty years ago last month, a little family set out to cross the United States, every earthly possession they owned packed into the smallest trailer available. No money, an old car, they drove exactly 34 miles up the highway, at which point their beleaguered car erupted.
The young father surveyed the steam, matched it with his own, then left his trusting wife and two innocent children—the youngest just three months old—to wait in the car while he walked the three miles or so to the southern Utah metropolis of Kanarraville, population then, I suppose, 65. Some water was secured at the edge of town, and a very kind citizen offered to drive back to the stranded family. The car was attended to and slowly—very slowly—driven back to St. George for inspection.
After more than two hours of checking and rechecking, no immediate problem could be detected, so once again the journey was begun. In exactly the same amount of elapsed time at exactly the same location on that highway with exactly the same pyrotechnics from under the hood, the car exploded again. Now feeling more foolish than angry, the chagrined young father once more left his trusting loved ones and started the long walk for help once again. This time the man providing the water said, “Either you or that fellow who looks just like you ought to get a new radiator for that car.” He didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry at the plight of this young family.
“How far have you come?” he said. “Thirty-four miles,” I answered. “How much farther do you have to go?” “Twenty-six hundred miles,” I said. “Well, you might make that trip, and your wife and those two little kiddies might make that trip, but none of you are going to make that trip in that car.” He proved to be prophetic on all counts.
Just two weeks ago, I drove by that exact spot. For just an instant I thought perhaps I saw on that side road an old car with a devoted young wife and two little children. Just ahead of them I imagined that I saw a young fellow walking toward Kanarraville, the weight of a young father’s fear evident in his pace.
In that imaginary instant, I couldn’t help calling out to him: “Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead.” Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.