My parents were stationed in the interior of China. In order to get supplies, the missionaries had to walk many miles, through robber territory, to a larger city.
My Dad and a fellow missionary, Frank, took this trip to buy their monthly supplies and to get their mail. In the mail would be welcome letters from family back in the USA and Canada and money mailed to them from mission headquarters.
After a long and tiring day, their mission accomplished, they bedded down in a Chinese Inn for the night. They had employed some Chinese coolies (men who carried baskets by poles on their shoulders) to help them transport their load the next day. The coolies had instructions to be ready to leave before daybreak, as they had to go through a deep, dark valley that was a known place for robbers to attack unsuspecting travelers.
Early the next morning, while it was still dark, Dad and Frank were up and ready to leave, but there was no sign of the coolies. The sun was coming up, and Dad and Frank were anxious to leave, but the coolies were not there. When they finally arrived, saying they had "overslept", the sun was high in the sky. Knowing the situation was not to their liking, Dad and Frank prayed for the Lord's protection and started out.
They went through the valley without any trouble and soon were home, rejoicing in the Lord's protection for them.
A week later, two Chinese gentlemen came to their mission station with news for my Dad. They said, "Di Mussah, (Dad's Chinese name) when you went through that valley last week, there were robbers waiting at dawn, to shoot and rob you. But, because you delayed, a band of military police happened to go through first and had a shootout with the robbers. One robber was killed, one was wounded and the others ran off."
In telling us this story, Dad said, "We had a plan, but God had a better plan for us!"
When I am delayed, or when my plans don't go as I expected, I remember this incident, and realize that God's plans are always best for me.
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