by Penelope Carlevato @TeaTimePen
Being a tour guide on my Taste of Britain Tea Tours is one of my greatest joys. I escort women on ten-day tours throughout England, experiencing the glory of England and afternoon teas in many different venues. The first day is always the toughest, getting everyone settled in their hotel rooms, converting their dollars to British pounds, and explaining English terms.
On one of my tours, we had the privilege of seeing Queen Elizabeth twice on our first day. The ladies were thrilled at the chance sightings, and I knew it was one of those “God things”. It was their first trip to England, and I wanted it to be perfect.
That evening, relaxing in the tub in my London hotel room, I decided it was a good time to catch up on my Bible reading. A verse grabbed my attention…”Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10 NIV).
Why was it so important to me that this trip be perfect? Was it so everyone would have a good time, or was I trying to make myself look good? I wanted everyone to believe I had it all together. I didn’t want to be thought of as a failure when things didn’t go as planned. I realized I would be walking on eggshells during the tour if I didn’t trust God with these women and all the details of the journey. I turned it over to Him, as I had done my homework, and now I needed to rest in his goodness and provision.
At the end of our ten days in England, I was pleased that everything went so well. No injuries, illness, or complaints. God was in control, and it had been the perfect trip – up until we traveled to the airport. We were late.
As we left the motorway and entered the roundabout leading to Gatwick Airport, our van suddenly stopped dead…right in the middle of two exit lanes. We were blocking traffic at rush hour. Drivers began to blast their horns and shake their fists at us. I immediately went into panic mode instead of trusting God to take care of the situation. But one of our sweet ladies in the group suggested we pray. What a brilliant idea!
We prayed, “Lord, please send us an angel to help us in this situation.”
As we concluded our prayer, a small pickup pulled in front of our van. A tall, good-looking man in a dark blue uniform jumped out of his truck and came to our driver’s window. “Oh no,” I thought, “a traffic warden (the English name for a policeman) is going to issue us a ticket. Just what we didn’t need! We’ll miss our flight home for sure.”
He came to the driver’s window, and instead of issuing us a ticket, asked if he could help pull our van off to the side of the road. He used a tow rope he had in the bed of his pickup and pulled us out of traffic.
Walking back to our van, he peeked his head inside and asked, “Which terminal and airline, ladies?”
All of us shouted over the head of the driver, “South Terminal – British Airways to Denver.”
“Great,” He replied, as he tipped his cap, “I’ll see you on board. I’m your pilot.”
God whispered in my heart, “See? I am in control. Trust me. I’ve got this.”
We all cheered like a bunch of teenagers. In a short while, the Automobile Club arrived to help us with our van. We had a broken gas gage. We had run out of gas!
I learned a great lesson on that trip. God went before us, and He was in control. It wasn’t a coincidence that our British Airway’s pilot passed us on the roundabout at that exact time. We made our flight on time, and once onboard, the pilot gave us all an exclusive visit to the cockpit.
This Scripture is not just words on a page, but God’s promise to us:
So not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 NIV
About the author: Penelope Carlevato is a Christian author and speaker and a contributing author for numerous compilation books. She serves as a regular columnist for Leading Hearts, the award-winning magazine for Christian women, and also writes for Innovative Health and other medical and wellness magazines. You can find out more at PenelopeCarlevato.com
Penelope has written several books: Tea on the Titanic, First Class Etiquette, The Art of Afternoon Tea: From the Era of Downton Abbey and the Titanic, Tea Lover’s Journal, and Happy Family Tea Time. Whether planning a Birthday Tea, a Christmas Tea, a Christening Tea or even a themed Downton Abbey Tea, the pleasures of sharing tea time come alive as Penelope shares her enthusiasm, knowledge, and inspiration.
Join the conversation: Has God ever rescued you from a difficult situation? Please share!