Bob, weary from a long day and half a night behind the wheel of his eighteen-wheeler, down- shifted off the California interstate and listened to the engine growl toward a parking spot in the rest area. To him, the non-descript, nearly deserted pit stop seemed to be an oasis beckoning him to take a break from the tedium of his travel and from the seething impatience of fellow motorists.

When his rig rumbled to a stop, he turned off the lights and shut down the horses under the massive hood. He clambered down from the cab and trudged across the parking area toward the welcome center. Then he, the father of eight children, heard a familiar sound – the sound of a breaking heart. He had experienced that lament before, many times. When one of his kids didn’t get an ice cream cone as she had hoped for or when Santa didn’t bring the right kind of doll to Bob’s small daughter. But this broken heart had an
undercurrent of panic. Bob followed the desperate wail through the darkness to its source. There in the desolate rest area, in the middle of the night, was a small girl, sobbing and rubbing her eyes. Occasionally, Bob could make out two words between gulps of anguish – “Mommy” and “Daddy”.

The road-worn driver looked around, but there was not a parent of either gender to be found. He took the three-year-old’s
hand in his calloused paw and conducted a thorough search of the entire area to no avail. The little girl was not at all consoled by Bob’s good intentions. Inspired by years of experience as a father and a professional driver, Bob cued his microphone and contacted the highway patrol on his CB radio.

Somehow, the parents were tracked down 50 miles away. They had no idea that they were missing their daughter. At the rest area, both mom and dad had failed to notice that the child had climbed out of the back seat as they went into the restroom. They had resumed their journey confident that she was sound asleep in the back seat.

Bob stayed in the rest area with the girl until she was reunited with her parents. This driver was the right person in the right place at the right time. God does that. Look at the rough times in your life. Was there a “Bob” for you? Who put that person there? Be thankful for the people whom God has provided for you. Be “Bob” when you can.

Note: Recently Pastor Ken performed a memorial service for a man named “Bob.” The deceased person
was a truck driver, and this was his story.

Ken Tubbesing