“Faith under the Overpass,” Ensign, Oct. 2006, 64–65
I grew up in a small community outside of Seattle, Washington. It was relatively close to a big city but just rural enough that opportunities to earn money for a mission were extremely limited. There were, however, a large number of gentlemen farmers in the area, so my brother and I decided to haul alfalfa hay from the big farms in the eastern part of the state, over the Cascade Mountains, to the small farms in our community. We fixed up an old truck that had fallen into disrepair and prepared it for hauling up to 20,000 pounds (9,000 kg) of hay. We made a number of successful trips with our dad along to make sure we had things figured out before he left the operation to us.
My brother and I left very early one morning for our first solo trip. We made it over the mountains but had some difficulties loading the hay. Eventually we headed back over the mountains with a full load.
The return trip was uneventful until we noticed that it was starting to sprinkle just a bit. We immediately found an overpass on the freeway and parked underneath it just as the sprinkles turned into rain. We had not yet been able to purchase a tarp to cover the hay, and no animals can eat the alfalfa hay if it gets wet because it starts to rot and mold quickly. We knew that if we lost this load of hay, our business venture would probably fail.
We sat under the overpass for quite a while, waiting for the rain to stop. Eventually, we realized that the Lord would help us if we prayed. My brother offered a prayer, and we waited. The rain did not let up. We decided that perhaps I, the elder brother, should offer a prayer. It started to rain harder. We sat there for what seemed an eternity. We knew that once we left the protective cover of the overpass, the next possible shelter was an hour away and home was another hour past that.
Finally, one of us remembered the admonition that faith precedes the miracle, and we realized that we needed to exercise our faith. We put our trust in the Lord and left the cover of the overpass. To this day I remember every drop of rain that I saw land on the hood of the truck as we inched out from under the overpass. It was a severe trial of our faith, but by the time the cab of the truck was out in the open, the rain had stopped. The next two hours were filled with much prayer and thanksgiving.
We made it home with our load in good shape, and as we were pulling the truck into the barn, the heavens released their pent-up downpour. Our business survived, and both of us were able to successfully fund our missionary service.
Not all of my prayers have been answered this way, but I am very thankful for the lesson in faith my brother and I learned sitting under the freeway overpass in the rain.