Dad’s Wheelchair Van

Little Book of Miracles Series

It’s easy to lose the awe that comes when we experience direct answers to specific prayers. We think we’ll remember, but the mundane and the busy redirect our brains, and those amazing moments can be lost. Some years ago, I began recording each of those treasured times, those times when I just knew it was God’s yes in a very specific way. I call it my Little Book of Miracles—and I’m now on book four. In the month of March, I’m excited to share a few of these precious stories with you. Some are profound. Some are almost silly. Yet each story reminds me of the ways God has shown His love and concern for others as well as for me … miraculously. I hope you enjoy celebrating these moments with me, and I urge you to start your own Little Book of Miracles.

 

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 ESV

When Ray’s dad first moved in with us, we had no intention of buying a wheelchair van. We checked out handicapped bus services and found one that would reasonably help us transport Dad around town and to doctors’ appointments. We could use a slideboard to transfer him into our car for longer trips. Like many of our plans, this one didn’t go nearly as well as we had hoped. Even though the bus service was excellent, we couldn’t always gauge how long an appointment would last, and the result—too many tense moments trying to rush a doctor so we could meet our bus in time. And the slideboard? We almost dropped Dad several times trying to manipulate him onto it. Not good at all. When I pulled my back saving Dad from a near fall, we knew we’d hit our limit. We needed a wheelchair van.

Do you know how much a handicap van costs? Too much. That’s how much. A new one goes for $60,000. Used ones average around $30,000 for one that works without too many repairs. So, we prayed. We asked for a reasonably priced van in good shape. We wanted Dad to enjoy his remaining years in our home, and that meant getting out of the home frequently—freedom to eat out, visit his siblings who lived an hour away, and simply take rides to view the beauty of the outdoor world.

I contacted our favorite car salesman and asked him to keep his eyes open for a wheelchair van for us. He wasn’t very hopeful. In fact, he’d never seen one for sale at any of the auctions he frequented. But he would look. Not only that, he actually came over to our house and chatted with Dad about what he’d like in a van and how much he could afford. Dad had so little independence at that point, unable to either stand or walk, what a gift of respect it was to include Dad in the transaction.

Well ... you won’t be too surprised to hear (since I am sharing from my Little Book of Miracles after all) that our salesman found a wheelchair van within a month! It did need work on the doors, but when he couldn’t find an affordable solution, he and his own dear father made the repairs themselves, sanding, painting, and restoring the van for our use. When all was finished and everything in order … the cost? Under $10,000. A miracle.

Oh, that van was the joy of Dad Gamble’s happy heart for over a year! He loved everything about it: its wide front window that let him actually see where he was going; the access to shopping at Walmart again; the ease of visiting his family. Doctors’ appointments could now take as long as needed. No stress. And when he felt like it, he’d invite Ray and me out to dinner “on him.” Oh my. Tears in my eyes right now remembering the freedom it gave him! All because we asked and a gracious God said yes. God not only blessed us with the perfect van at an affordable price, but also with a kind, servant-hearted Christian man to help us.

After Dad Gamble went home to Heaven, we were so happy to pass the van on to a handicapped teenage girl and her family for the same low price. Our miracle van continues to bring joy.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your kindness to us. Thank You for good people like our dear friend and his dad, who love You and are willing to sacrifice time and energy to serve others. Oh, Lord, help me to give as it was given to me! And who can out give You, dear God? Your love and mercy are fathomless. You truly do supply all our needs according to Your glorious riches! Thank You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

You are loved,
Sharon

 

 

Sweet Selah Ministries

Vision
To encourage a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth that stillness and knowing God matter most—
and will be reflected in more effective work and service

Mission 
To offer resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

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