My son who was 14 years old at the time was with me on a weekend outing like many father and sons do with their family. This time we took two 4 wheelers on a trailer and head north from Schenectady, New York to the upper Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York near the town of AuSable Forks my home town nearly 3 hours away. The following day my son and I found an old logging road to follow, which led way back into the Adirondack Mountains. You could hardly see where the old logging road was as many trees have started to grow in the old dirt roadway.
My son and I traveled about 5 miles back into the woods and after riding for an hour and a half we decided to stop and stretch our legs and relax. We brought some bottle water to drink and a few snacks to eat so we had some refreshment before heading back to our starting point. My son suddenly said to me “Dad look on the tree over there it says GOD LOVES YOU. I told him that I can’t see anything as we are surrounded by trees. Then he pointed out a big Oak Tree about 15 yards from us, which someone had carved GOD LOVES YOU on it. I said, “Wow whoever carved that in the tree must have carved it a long time ago because the bark was starting to overgrown the letters carved in the tree”. I said to my son that was really cool to see something like that way back in the woods. I thought a moment to myself, and was suddenly shocked to say to my son “Dave I think I carved that in the tree 25 years ago when I got back from Vietnam”. He said “no you didn’t, did you”? I told him to go over to the tree and see if my initials were on the back of the tree. As he was walking over to see if my initials were on the tree I remember that I had gone over to Vietnam in 1968 with 24 fellow soldiers and 12 months later only 4 of us made it. I was just so thankful to be alive and had survived my tour in Vietnam. When I got back home in the fall I decided to go hunting alone and took my father’s rifle and headed back into the woods on foot. I walked quite a ways that day, and later that day I took my hunting knife out and carved GOD LOVES YOU in this big Oak Tree. I said to myself someday someone will see this carving and because of the remoteness of the tree they will really be moved by it. Of all people to see it my own son saw it. It just brought tears to my eyes of gratitude that God had permitted my own son to see it after so many years. I had totally forgotten what I had done so many year ago. You see the good things you do today will come back to bless you in the future, because God doesn’t forget the good things you do. I never thought what God was preparing for in the future. My son when he became an adult traveled with me 9 times to the Holy Land. I thought he might take over for me some time in the future. When I tell everyone this and please try to remember this in your own life.
God answers prayers in one of three ways.
- He may say Yes to your request.
- He may say not now, or
- He may say “I have a better plan”.
You see my son passed away 4 years ago and God has a better plan. Hope to see you on one of my pilgrimages to the Holy Land and usually tell this story on the bus.