Grateful for Tragedy

Grateful for Tragedy

We came out of Arby’s today to find that one wheel on the passenger side of The Little Gray Sparrow had loosened all it’s lug nuts, broken off a stud, and rounded out the nut holes and center hub hole. The fact that it was still on the house was a miracle.

It definitely could have come off the house at 60mph, and who knows where it would have gone.

It could have gotten run over by the rest of the house trailer frame and severely damaged the house.

It could have come off and bounced back onto the roadway and gone through a windshield.

God protected us.

And you know, the more we travel and minister, and the more we see God work in our lives, the more we are convinced that He really has a purpose in everything. So when this happened, we prayed and asked for direction and guidance, and then continued to work to solve the problem, trusting that there would be an answer.

I got the bad wheel off, and switched the good one on to the back axle, since that one would carry the load better. I was hoping we could go on with just one wheel on that side. I lowered the house off the jack to check the clearances. Nope. One good bump could destroy the tire and wheel well. And I didn’t know for sure how much weight one tire could hold in an emergency situation like this. But if it hit a bump and blew, we’d likely destroy the entire sewer drain piping and possibly ruin both tanks as well. I couldn’t chance it.

I tried putting the bad wheel back on. One lug had broken before we realized we had a problem. Another broke when removing the wheel.


We tried slowly rolling with four lugs. Three pulled through the rounded-out holes in the wheel. One held, but the wheel wobbled horrifically.

I put on washers and tried again. Another lug broke upon refitting the wheel again. Three lugs. And the wheel wobbled still.

Now what. We were in Rochester, 40 minutes from South Bend, our destination. We really couldn’t drive it anywhere. Even the 15 minutes to Hannah’s parent’s house I was afraid would be too far on three lugs, and if they blew out on a backroad we’d be stuck without power or water.

I called a team meeting inside Arby’s. Then it happened.

A few fellas a couple tables away had overheard my instructions to the team to continue without us. Stepping over to our table, the first introduced himself as Pastor Matthew, and said it seemed like we were in a bind and could he help. He offered to let us bring the house to his church and hook up at the RV spot. And it was only a mile and a half away.

We were stunned.

Had Hannah’s parents not had coupons for Arby’s, we wouldn’t have met. Had I not called a team meeting back inside Arby’s, we wouldn’t have met.

We realized that God had sent us here to Rochester for a reason. And in the tragedy, He had already provided the answer. We had a purpose in being here, even though we didn’t know what is was yet.

And so we thanked Him for the tragedy.



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