On our first exploratory trip to Central America, we had many miracles. Some of them were amazing, but the one that tipped the scales came from the mouths of our children Thomas and Laura, 6 and 4 years old. It opened my faith to simply knowing that the Lord could, and would, alter reality for a sincere prayer of faith.
On the run down through the United States to Brownsville, the intersection where we turned towards Brownsville was about 9 miles from Corpus Christi, Texas, which is on the ocean. I decided that it would be nice for the children to see the ocean and put their feet on her wonderful beach.
So I drove to Corpus Christi and then onto the beach. On a coastal road we saw a pass through the huge sand dunes with a road going out onto the beach. In less than half of a mile we were on the beach of hard packed sand where the tide, very far out, was coming in slowly but steadily. I pulled up, looking out at the surf way off, and the kids ran around on the beach. Nana prepared sandwiches and made coffee on our sterno burner. Then we all got back in the van as a little mist whooshed by. When I put it in reverse, I let out the clutch to back out gently and the back wheels just dug down and we went nowhere.
Wow, how could this be? I could remember a solid beach with steady traffic and cars going right up to the water years ago in San Diego, California. And I have always heard that the beach sand is very firm, packed by the weight of the water.
Well, for whatever reason, we were stuck and the tide was definitely coming in. We weren’t too far out from the solid land, so it was a long way to the water, but you could see the waves way out, getting bigger which meant closer.
We discussed our predicament and prayed for God’s help. Then Ron ran up among the dunes and houses there on the hills. He came telling us no one was home. It must have been a season when people didn’t use their seaside homes. There was a large, tall building way down the seashore in the distance. It looked to be a seaside resort or hotel. Nana, Ron and I had been standing a distance from the van. Nana and Ron decided to make a run for the hotel. To me, it looked to be more than a mile away. I prayed then and thought I’d try the impossible, to back away and rock the van, or may to go forward. Upon reaching the van I could see water coming into my tracks. At that point a police car going by on the highway pulled in, drove around me, stopped and said he could see we were in trouble. He asked if I wanted a tow truck called and asked if I could pay. Then another question: “Are you alone?” I said, “No, my wife and oldest son are running to that hotel and I have three children in the van.” The tow truck came in and backed up to the beach. While I walked out with him hauling the tow cable, the water was moving in about 10 feet on each side of the van, but not where the van was sitting or behind it.
After the tow cable was hooked up, I walked past the rolling door side of the van to go around and check on John Michael, who was sleeping in the passenger seat. As I passed the rolling door, Thomas and Laura were kneeling against the back seat praying, “Please God, hold the tide back, don’t let the tide come in.” The tow truck operator went to his truck, began the winch and I steered. When we got to where the tow truck was, there was water on each side and a corridor ahead of me. At that moment, the water filled in the last 50 feet or so in a rush. As he unhooked us, the front of the van was standing in water as the first breaker hit the beach all the way along the beach in each direction. Then a moment or two later as I started the motor to back the rest of the way off the beach, whapp!! Water coming in ahead of me hit the van and shot up in front of me.
God had kept the tide back where the van had been, and when I backed out the normal waves pounded the beach. I turned around and followed the tow truck to the garage where he put our van up on a hoist and hosed it down to rid of the salt.
The policeman stopped by to ask if all was ok. He had driven down the beach to get Nana and Ron. “It was 5 miles to the resort hotel,” he said. This was a miracle, as reality was altered for a prayer of faith. Our children, innocent, obedient believers, knew that if they would ask Him to keep the tide back, that He could do it. We adults would have a much harder time with that kind of faith; however, on this trip we would soon be tested. However foolish this had been, I learned that God can and did alter reality by the power of our children’s faith. I asked the policeman if this happens often (vehicles being stranded on the beach in the tide). He said “It happens and tomorrow you would find your vehicle about a half mile in the ocean, upside down.”
I thank God for His blessing.