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Martin Wiles

Dr. Martin Wiles

"And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus." — Philippians 4:19 NLT

Mother Nature poured down her fury—so God sent us a porta potty.

My daughter and I left for an overnight backpacking trip on the Flat Laurel Creek Trail near Canton, North Carolina. We hadn’t backpacked in nineteen years. She had aged … and so had I. We planned to set up camp after three miles and then pack a day bag and hike to a nearby bald mountain which boasted 360-degree views.

Making good time, we arrived at our campsite, set up our tent, hung our food, prepared a day bag, and set out. The weather forecast called for thunderstorms, and we could already hear the thunder rolling across some nearby mountains.

Climbing to the mountain summit involved a 1,000-foot elevation change and scaling many large rocks, but we made it. The view was spectacular — for about ten minutes. No sooner had we taken our pictures then dark clouds descended upon the mountains and their valleys. We, along with other sightseers, headed for cover.

When we reached the loop trail on our way down from the summit, we headed for a parking lot, which had a stand-alone constructed porta potty. As we looked at the trail sign, trying to find the starting point for the loop trail, the storms arrived. We had no place to take shelter except the small overhang leading into the porta potties. Eventually, we had to open the door to the porta-potty and stand inside. Not a welcome smell.

After forty-five minutes of enduring a tense situation in a smelly place, the storm moved on. A fellow hiker pointed us to the trail we sought, and we headed the 1-½ miles back to our tent. The rain had turned the trail into a river, which we plodded through.

As we walked along, I heard a strange noise coming from my left boot. I looked down to see my sole had separated. When I picked up my foot, the sole fell off. Another few yards down the trail, and I heard a sound coming from my right boot. Same thing. All of a sudden, I was wet and soleless.

After looking at the trail, we wondered whether our tent was still in tack —and dry. Though the tent remained, everything in it was soaked. Having plenty of daylight left, we decided to pack up and head back home.

When I mentioned how it appeared that a dark cloud (no pun intended) hung over us during our hike, my daughter came to her optimistic rescue. God had allowed us to see from the mountain for ten minutes before the clouds obscured the mountains. He had provided a porta-potty for shelter when we needed it. Our tent had not blown away. We saw many beautiful wildflowers along the way. Even though I was soleless, I still had a semblance of a shoe on. And we had a wonderful adventure such as we had never experienced before.

Paul said that’s the way God does. He provides for our needs — and for us, the porta-potty was a need at the moment.

God will never let you down. He knows your needs and makes a promise to supply them — even if it’s a porta potty.

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