This has been quite the long winter! The snow cover has remained for almost three months straight (I do prefer it to the barren grey alternative though). I am thankful for the beauty of the snow in these chilly months…and the peacefulness of living in the country. However, living on a dirt road, that does not always get plowed, can make for one stir-crazy mama! I really enjoy being at home, and there are lots of creative things I can find to occupy my time…but a few weeks ago, after being cooped up for four days in a row, I reached my limit. Thankfully I already had a mini-getaway planned for the next day.
I slowly ventured downstate a few hours to see friends and get refreshed. Props to Hubby for his graciousness and blessing in sending me off. He knew that I would come back nicer and missing him and our four darlings like crazy.
The first night I was away I stayed with my friend L.A., and we had a great time catching up. She patiently answered my questions about older child adoption and foster care, since that is what she does for a living. She also had a Pepsi waiting for me- what a joy when a friend knows you that well.
The next morning I set off early for Revive Our Hearts (ROH) to hear my friend, Carrie Gaul, record several upcoming ROH programs. I’ve had the joy of sitting under Carrie’s bible teaching at camp’s Women’s Retreat for the past two years and was thrilled to be joining the audience for this exciting day.
I slowly began the drive on the snow-covered roads, but soon dropped my spoon, covered with yogurt, into my lap…when I picked it up, I swerved and my right-side tires got caught in the snow on the shoulder. The back of my van started fishtailing and I instinctively slammed on the brakes (of course you are NOT supposed to do this, but it is difficult to remember that in the moment). The roads were icy underneath and the van did a 180 degree spin. I ended up facing the other direction, with my right tires buried in a snow bank. Miraculously there were no other cars in the lane that I ended up in. I got out to assess the situation…the plastic bumper guard had fallen off in the snow and the bumper was dented in the middle.
I was strangely calm, yet determined to make it on time to the radio recording. I tried to kick the heavy snow away from the tires, but, it didn’t do much…I was stuck and there was no getting out on my own. Other vehicles kept passing me- no one stopped to help (how many times have I done the same thing?). Don’t you see me? Can you slow down and at least see if I need help? They were probably glad they were not the ones stuck…they might be late for work if they stopped…or maybe they were saved from a similar fate by seeing me trapped there; hazards flashing.
I phoned L.A., who came right away…she called her parents to come and see if they could help. L.A.’s dad had me turn my wheels and try to get out, but one tire was spinning; the van was not budging. He thought maybe he could carefully nudge me out with his vehicle; it did not look promising.
Then, he came. A stranger with a truck and a chain. He got out, assessed the situation, looked for a way to attach the chain to my van and reconfigured his hitch so he could pull me out from the back. L.A blocked traffic and her dad directed me as the stranger (with his 4 wheel drive, horsepower, and chain) pulled me out.
He left as I called out, “Thank you!!!” He did not ask for money and he did not linger.
My heart was singing; I was free! And I still made it to my destination with fifteen minutes to spare. I praised God for helping me. I prayed for the stranger, thanking God for him and asking God to bless him for his help. I called Hubby telling him that we should get him a truck for his next vehicle; what a ministry these truck drivers have, especially in the winter!
As I reflect on this incident I cannot help but notice some parallels between it and my spiritual journey:
1. I was going down the road and was distracted. I took my eyes off the road and before I knew it, I swerved, spun, lost control and got stuck in my sin.
Isaiah 64:6 “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”
2. I could not get myself out on my own strength, tools or wisdom.
Isaiah 55:7-9 “Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways’, declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'”
3. I needed rescuing.
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
4. Jesus showed up and had the strength, tools and know-how to get me out; to save me from my predicament.
Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
5. Jesus set me free from the trap of sin; rescued me from danger.
Psalm 18:16 “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.”
6. I was released to set out again, with joy and gratitude; a second chance to journey down this road of life, knowing that I do not go alone.
Psalm 40:1-3 “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in him.”
1. Are you one of those passing cars, focused on the road before you, but ignoring those stuck on the side of the road that need rescuing?
2. Do you need rescuing from a life headed for destruction and separation from God? He desires that none should perish- reach out to Him today; He is near, not far from each one of us (see 2 Peter 3:9 and Acts 17:27).
3. Are you stuck? Not lost, but hung up, distracted and wavering in your faith? Take a moment right now to ask God for help. Ask Him, in His wisdom, to provide you with a clear way to get unstuck…then do what He says; He is trustworthy and able to help you!