It was in June 2019. My family had just moved to Las Vegas from Thailand. We had already been to the US six times before our move as permanent residents. So, I had an idea about how life was going to be like in The US. Unlike the other countries we had been to, The US is a country where you need your driver's license on the list of your priorities. Except in big cities, you can't rely on public transportation. A lot of people drive themselves to their workplaces. In fact, many job offers include driving yourself to work as a requirement.
My Thai driver's license was very useful in every visit we had to The US. Since the license had all the information in English, I didn't need an international driver's permit which is required when your driver's license is in a foreign language. However, when you move as a permanent resident, you need to have a US driver's license to get an insurance coverage. The state of Nevada gives you 30 days allowance.
June is a month when youngsters take advantage of the summer to get their driver's license. It is a busy month. Nevada doesn't allow the conversion of a driver's license from other countries except Canada & Taiwan. It doesn't matter how experienced you are; you will have to sit for the written and road test. The challenge however was the length of the appointment. The written test didn't have a long appointment but my schedule for the road test was in August which happened to be after the start of our daughter's school. Since my wife is a Nurse working on a 12-hour shift, I needed to make sure that I would be able to drive our daughter to school.
The other option to get the driver's license as soon as possible was to go on standby. Since there are some test-takers who don't show up for their appointments, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) allows walk-in. But the number of people who were planning to go on standby was outrageous. I needed to get there early morning and line up. The first day, I arrived at 6:00 a.m. and I was the 14th person. It means 14 people had to miss their appointments for me to take the test. I waited until 10:00 a.m. to see if I would have a chance. Nobody was called until this time. I talked to the clerk and he informed me that it was very unlikely that I would get a chance. I decided to go home. After a couple of days I went to try again. I arrived at around 4:30 a.m. hoping that I would do better. It was actually worse; I was the 16th person. The person in front of me told me that she was the 14th the other day and she didn't get a chance even though she waited the whole day. I didn't wait to decide this time. I went back.
The third time, I decided to go as early as 3:30 a.m. hoping that this time I would be among the first five. I was the 14th in the line again. I couldn't believe it. I went to the first person in line and I asked him how early he needed to come to be the first person. He told me he was there since 5:00 p.m. the previous day. Many of those who were there early had their foldable chairs, books, or iPads.
My experience couldn't match my expectation of how it should be like. I knew it wasn't like that everywhere in the US. I was thinking, "There must be an easier way." My personal conviction in any situation is that unless there is a reason for it, God wouldn’t let me experience a waste of time. Sometimes delays and waiting refine our character, give us opportunities to review the past and learn from our mistakes, reflect the goodness of God and be thankful. But I didn't see that in what I was experiencing. I kept on thinking that there should be an easier way. I then remembered what one lady who was beside me on my first attempt said. She told me that her brother mentioned that it was easier to do it at another DMV that is farther than where I was trying. By the way, it is always good to have conversations and exchange information with people whom you come across. You will understand what I mean when you finish this story.
I made the same decision like the previous days. I went home. I waited for my wife and daughter to wake up and told them that I wanted to try my chance at another DMV location. For the rational mind, this plan would sound hopeless. You may say, "If you couldn't make it at the nearest DMV even though you went at 3:30 a.m., what makes you think that you can make it at a farther location going at 11:00 a.m. But if you have seen the hand of God in your life, you know the formula is different in the spiritual world.
So, we went together and arrived there at around 11:00 a.m. I was given a number. This time, it almost tripled. I was the 41st. To begin with, I was surprised she gave me a number. Because what I know from the first DMV is that even being the 14th is not good enough. She told me that they had already taken in 33 who were on standby. That gave me hope but it also meant that I would have a chance only if at least 7 people were absent. There were a couple more who came after me and got numbers. It was past 4:00 p.m. when I was called. After calling my name, they had to apologize to those who came after me and send them home. I was the last person to get the standby chance.
The road test itself was easy since I had been driving in Las Vegas using my Thai license. Plus, I went on Google Earth and checked the signs around. The day that started with a disappointment before sunrise ended with an accomplishment before sunset. We drove home with my American driver's license.
God doesn't waste your time. If a door is closed for an unsatisfactory reason, there must another door open. Don't settle for the status quo. You are known as an individual in his sight, not as one of the people on earth. It is not a must that what everyone is experiencing should also be your experience. "I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born" (Jer 1:5, STB). When God leads there is a shortcut!
Was there a time in your life God made the impossible possible?
What is your paper for difficult times when your faith is shaken and you start doubting? Are there people in your circle you would like to pray for because they need perseverance?