Thursday, July 23, 2015

OnFire 332 Broken Springs Affirm Faith

OnFire Encouragement Letter
OnFire 332 Broken Springs Affirm Faith

Our vacation plan was to tow our hardtop camper to BC in order to visit our oldest boy. We would stay with some friends, but also camp along the way. This would minimize inconvenience for our friends and be cheaper than hotels.

The plan came apart when the trailer broke a spring about an hour away from home. I jacked it up, blocked the suspension, and limped about a kilometre back to Virden, the Manitoba town we had just passed through.

What to do? It was Canada Day, so nothing was open. If we waited to get the trailer fixed, we would miss out on time with Ian, a basic goal of the trip. What would we do about the trailer?

We decided to go on without it. We made arrangements to stay with our friends and found a place to park our trailer until we returned. And then we hit the road, only a few hours later than we had hoped.

We had two choices for looking at this event. We could see it as a really lousy start to our trip, and gripe the whole way around BC, or we could see our trouble as the seed bed for a much better experience than we had originally planned, and thank God for the opportunity. This is how we have come to see it, for a bunch of reasons.

We got to spend more time with our son. We skipped camping in Jasper, as lovely as that would have been, and pushed through for the extra day.

We spent more time connecting with friends by staying in their homes instead of camping. We would have missed out on some real blessings because we could not have had those wonderful evening and morning chats.

We had a more comfortable drive. Some of the mountainous roads, route 99 in particular from Cache Creek to Pemberton, were nail-biters. When signs said 30km, they meant it. I’m glad we didn’t have the trailer on some sections. Even worse would have been to break down there – in the mountains - in the middle of nowhere – with no breakdown area.  

If our trailer was going to break down, it broke down in the best possible place – only a kilometre from a large RV centre. It was an easy matter to take it to their repair shop as we returned home.

These are only some of the reasons why we thank God our trailer broke down where it did.

It was fairly easy to see how this bit of rough experience could turn out for the best because the results were fairly immediate. That’s not always the case when we face adversity. In the middle of our pain it is often hard to see how something good might be squeezed from between a rock and hard place.

But looking back on some of my more painful experiences I have seen it happen enough that it makes facing difficulty a little easier. I would never have wished those events to have happened, but I learned from them, and good things came out of them. And I came to see something about the goodness of God that I might not have seen otherwise.

This is the hope and promise of faith, that our trials are not in vain. That God is good, He loves us, and brings good even from the bad. “All things work together for good for those who love the Lord.” (Romans 8:28*)

I hope this helps in whatever you may be facing.


OnFire is a letter on faith and character written by Troy Dennis.  Married  to Jan, Troy is a chaplain in the Canadian Armed Forces, and has more than 20 years of pastoral experience. This letter published July 23, 2015.  *New International Version. To subscribe, unsubscribe, or reply, email Blog located at