It happened just south of Sacramento on Interstate 5 just after sundown. Emory and I were long haul team driving for Covenant Transport and were pulling a full load, headed to Orlando, Florida. Our time was tight, so it was going to be a long hard pull. Our spirits were dragging the ground and we were calling on the Lord for strength. I had just gotten in the driver’s seat and Emory was making preparations for his eight hours in the sleeper.
Suddenly another shiny new Covenant Transport rig charged around us in the hammer lane. Emory grabbed the CB mike and flipped on the switch–something he rarely did. “That’s a mighty fine rig you’re driving there, trucker,” he said.
The driver responded, “I’m a trainer so the company keeps me in new rigs.” There was a short pause. ” Where you all from?”
“Virginia,” Emory answered.
“So am I,” the trucker perked up. ” Where in Virginia?”
“Tazewell County,” Emory said.
The driver was getting excited by then. “So am I! A short pause. “Say, why don’t y’all stop up here at the TA Truck Stop in Buttonwillow. We have to fuel and get a shower. Maybe we could share a little conversation!”
By then we were excited too. Who was the driver? Would we know him when we saw him?
It turned out he was Stormy Cannady–a young man who knew our boys, had played music with them years ago, and was a good buddy of our dear friend Chris Vanover. What fun we had sharing about home and family.
We feasted on the memory of that God sent joy all the way to Orlando and even beyond. Out of over a million truckers on the road across our nation, God had arranged for Stormy Cannady to be at the right place at the right time to bring us the strength we needed to carry on.
Our Christian journey is often like long haul truckin’. Sometimes we pull a heavy load and there doesn’t seem to be enough time to get it all done. Our spirits are dragging and we are crying,” Oh, God, please send help. That’s when we learn that He knows the way that we take. (Job 23:10) So He appears, either through an unexpected encounter with a friend of a friend, or by bringing to our remembrance a scripture we learned as a child, or an old gospel song playing on the radio, a dazzling display of nature, or some talk of our heavenly home. That’s when we find the joy that is unspeakable and full of glory. (1 Peter 1:8)
It’s a God thing, and it’s truly awesome!
(“A God Thing” (c) Rebecca A. Somoskey, Originally published June 20, 2007)