The sandstorm hit without warning! In an instant it was dark, at 3 O’Clock in the afternoon, and I could see only a car’s length ahead. I was driving my parents and my two children through Arizona on a vacation. At that time Highway 40 still wound its way through most towns and past motels built close to the road.
Since I couldn’t see to drive, everyone in the car was asked to search the darkness and blowing sand for a safe place to stop. We prayed that we wouldn’t hit anyone ahead who was going slower, and we prayed that we wouldn’t be hit from behind for not going faster.
My Mother saw a motel sign, and with relief we found the approach to the motel. The lobby was already full of people. The desk clerk said the storm was expected to die down during the night. We couldn’t go further, so I asked for two rooms. She said no rooms were available. My parents and children found places to sit in the lobby, while I sought a place to talk to God. I found a window where I could gaze out into the darkness and pray.
“Dear God, You promised to meet all our needs, and You have never failed me. My parents are old, and can’t sit up all night in a motel lobby. I desperately need Your help. One room will do for the five of us, since two are children, but, God, how do I get a room when there is no room? I kept repeating the prayer over and over to be sure that He heard me. A thought came to my mind, “Ask to be put on a waiting list for the first room that opens up.” Actually, I thought it was a crazy idea, because we were all stranded here because of weather, and no one was able to leave.
I knew how ridiculous it was, but I went to the desk clerk and asked to be put on a waiting list for a room. I explained that my parents were old, and that God answers my prayers. She didn’t respond to that but told me that no one would be leaving in this storm, and no room would open up. I asked her if I could start a waiting list for the first room that opened up and put on her desk. She said, “Yes,” thinking that it was best to humor me. I wrote, “WAITING LIST FOR FIRST ROOM THAT OPENS UP. Below it I wrote my name, and that I would take any room. I told her I would check back with her every hour.
Since we had nothing else to do, we went for an early dinner in the motel restaurant. I was glad I had memorized God’s promises, because I now had time to review them. I hadn’t memorized where these promises were in the Bible, but I knew the verses by heart.
In the past I had often claimed His promise: “My God shall supply all your needs” (Philippians 4:19). Did I really have a need? Yes, my parents were old and I was responsible for them.
Asking for a room was asking for the impossible, and I remembered God said, “With God nothing is impossible” (Luke 1:37). God also asked, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14). It must be okay to ask for the impossible, I reasoned, since God assured us it wasn’t too hard for Him.
I asked myself, are these promises the truth? Yes, God doesn’t lie, and He said, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8). I came to the conclusion that, since He promised to meet our needs, He would provide a room. I didn’t know how He would do it, but He had promised!
As the sandstorm raged outside, my faith grew as I kept on reviewing His promises, reminding Him of them, and deciding that I believed He’d provide. As we ate a leisurely dinner, I prayed nonstop.
After we had eaten, I checked with the desk clerk to see if a room had opened up. It hadn’t, but the waiting list was still there on the desk. Every hour I asked if a room had opened up, and it hadn’t.
A new desk clerk came on duty. I went to make sure she knew about the waiting list, and I asked if a room had opened up. She said she had seen the waiting list, and there was a room. She asked if two double beds would be enough, took my name, information, and gave me keys and directions to the room. Since I had been praying and reminding God, I shouldn’t have been shocked, but I admit, I was shocked– and thankful! Everyone in the family was shocked and delighted! We went out into the blowing sand storm and drove around the motel to our room.
It was 10 PM when we got into the room God gave us, and I had been petitioning God for seven hours. Our room had two double beds in it, and we made it work. It was cozy, and it met all of our needs. We were so incredibly thankful! We slept soundly and woke up to a clear blue sky, and no more blowing sand!
I challenge you to get on praying ground where God answers prayer. I explain praying ground in my free eBook, “Ten Steps to Answered Prayer,” which is available on godanswers.net. Against all odds, believe and memorize God’s promises in the Holy Bible. If something seems impossible for Him to do, it’s not. It just looks like that to us. He sees your faith as you claim His promises, and “It will happen for you just as you have believed (Matthew 9:29).