Story by Joan Wester Anderson
What goes around comes around, and Roberta Eschenbaum, a farm wife living outside Miller, South Dakota, certainly knows this to be true. She had taken a quick trip into Miller one morning, and was rushing home to get the noon meal on the table for the workmen. As she drove, she was also keeping an eye out for her father, who lived alone and had emphysema. “He didn’t drive much except for the twelve miles out to our farm,” she says, “so I always knew that if he needed help on the road, one of our neighbors would probably see him and stop.” But it was still a worry for her, and she often prayed for his safety.
There was no sign of Roberta’s father’s car. Instead, up ahead, she saw another vehicle stopped at the side of the road, a man peering into the engine. “I was in a hurry, and although I always help people I know, this man was a stranger,” Roberta says. She should have kept going, especially since the area was deserted. Yet something told her to stop. She did.
The driver was having trouble with his battery, so Roberta drove to a neighboring farm, borrowed booster cables, drove back, and got the car going. “This is wonderful,” the driver thanked her and reached for his wallet. “Could I…?”
“No payment necessary,” Roberta smiled, getting back in her car. “Just return this favor by helping the next person you find stalled along a road.”
“I certainly will!” The man waved as she pulled out.
Two weeks later, Roberta’s father phoned, with an interesting story to tell. “I went to an auction about fifty miles southwest of here…” he began.
“Fifty miles!” Roberta was aghast. “Dad, you never drive that far alone!”
“…And I got a flat tire on the way home.”
By now Roberta was in a panic. The area he was describing was a back country road, with little or no chance of anyone coming by. Nor could her father have changed his own tire, weakened as he was. “What happened?” she asked.
“You wouldn’t believe it. A nice motorist came along right away, and changed my tire. But when I offered to pay him, he said no. Seems a woman outside of Miller had given him a battery jump two weeks ago, and told him to pass on the favor. He was paying a debt to her.”
Roberta felt love surrounding her like a hug. “I think God knew Dad was going to do that, and so He arranged a rescue ahead of time,” she says. “I look for evidence of His presence all the time—and I always find it.”