August 14, 2009

Limping into safe harbor


few weeks ago the guest speaker at Mary’s church preached a sermon titled “Limping Into Safe Harbor.” Mary thought about my family and directed us to this sermon, which was posted to her church’s web site. It was good. It was appropriate. It was a gift from God.

The past few months have been very trying. We have seen and experienced many things we wish we could have shielded our son from—and ourselves. But God has moved us to the edge of the storm and we are about to pass through and land safely in the harbor. Our ship is wrecked. Our bodies are worn and haggard. But God has brought us through safely and we can see the harbor inhabitants coming to welcome us as we emerge from the wreckage. Just as the apostle Paul experienced when he was shipwrecked at Malta. Paul’s crew lost the ship. They experienced intense danger and the stress that goes along with that. But, by God’s grace, they limped into safe harbor.

This was the message of the sermon Mary directed us to. This is what our arrival in Front Royal, Virginia, felt like yesterday. We have arrived in the safe harbor. Praise God!

Yesterday we drove to Front Royal to sign the papers for the house we will be living in there. The day was characterized by a comfort and a peace about this move. A comfort and peace that we have not felt for quite some time. We are arriving at home.

While we signed paperwork, received the keys to the house, and learned about the various utilities and how the town handles such things, David went exploring on his bike. He had heard the sound of trains and went to investigate. I knew from Google Earth that a train track ran along the Shenandoah River, somewhat near the house, but David found something I had not expected.

He followed the sound of the trains for about three quarters of a mile and located a train crossroads where six different railroad tracks converge. The crossroads includes two bridges across the Shenandoah, five sweeping curves, and multiple track switching stations. It’s a train lovers dream. And David loves trains.

After we had finished with the property manager, David asked me to follow him on his bike as he took me to see this fantastic railroad crossroads. While I was there with him we saw two huge trains and I took these pictures (as well as quite a few others). We returned to the house and unpacked the car, which we had filled with boxes and other things. And then David wanted to show Mom the railroad tracks, so we headed back to the place he had found.

But this time I wasn’t the only person there with a camera. There were multiple cars there and quite a few people with high-end digital cameras and monopods standing in the middle of the convergence of train tracks. I grabbed my camera and went to where they were gathered to see what was up. A couple of the photographers work for Norfolk Southern Railways. But the whole group of photographers was there, some having traveled hundreds of miles to this particularly photogenic spot to take pictures of a prototype experimental train that was about to cross one of the bridges there. These train lovers (and railway employees) had chosen this spot near our new home as the best place to photograph this historic train.

What a wonderful place God has provided for our family. I will tell you about the neighborhood and the neighbors (we have already met a few of them) in upcoming posts. But I wanted to share this unique blessing of God that seems custom made for our son.

God is so good—looking out for each of his children individually and providing blessings that we don’t deserve just because he loves us and to the praise of his glorious grace.

Thank you, Lord!

Today we finish packing and pick up the moving truck. Tomorrow we move.


  1. This is one of those faith stretchers for David. He has seen the hand of God, and he will not forget it. He has seen that God's purposes are beyond man's purposes. God gets the glory here, and I'm so overjoyed that He has provided abundantly for not just your physical, but also emotional needs as well.

  2. So everything finally clarified and worked out. Bravo!

  3. Yes - God has been particularly gracious and has blessed us beyond all imagination ("full measure, shaken down"). We are so very thankful and are praising our amazing God.


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