Unfortunately, I’m not the ideal heroine. There I was at 10:30pm in the little black Honda, paralyzed in the middle of the street. Right ahead of me was a river, flowing at least 5 inches high over the road. I probably would not have even seen it through the pitch black night and blinding rain, but I did see the car stuck on the embankment only a few yards away.
Perhaps this is when I mention that due to other flooding around our mountain, this was the only way home. Now there was no way home.
I honestly did not know what to do. My mind was blank of any solutions besides bursting into tears right there in the middle of the flooded street. Which is probably what I would have done if the figure of a girl hadn’t appeared out of nowhere and banged on my window, yelling at me to “Get away, it isn’t safe here! Don’t try to go home, just get away!”
Immediately, I was panicked into action and shot the car into reverse. At that same moment, three large fire engines, their flashing lights illuminating the torrential sky, came barreling down on me. Then a few tears did fill my eyes. I felt so helpless, so alone, and so vulnerable as I swung around and headed back into the stormy blackness. I called my dad to hear a soothing voice; I called a friend to find a bed for the night.
I was so scared. Fear clenched my heart tighter than the white-knuckled grip I had on the steering wheel. My heart thumped louder than the rain pounding on my windshield and I kept turning the radio up to drown out both. It took nearly half an hour to drive four miles because of how slowly I was creeping, leaning forward like an old blind woman, dodging puddles and crying out prayers. O Lord, protect me! Guide this car! Please, be with me!
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I saw a familiar porch light, like a lighthouse guiding me too safety. I saw a big blue umbrella making its way to the curb and under it the faces of my dear friends – faces I loved more than anything in the world at that desperate moment. Finally I let out the breath I had kept sucked in that whole dreadful drive and loosened my death grip on the wheel. Finally, I felt safe.
The sound of singing birds and a stream of warm sunlight woke me early the next morning. After a few happy hours of breakfast and coffee with the friends who saved my life, I was back in the little back Honda, driving home.
It was remarkable what a different place the world was from the treacherous storm of the night before. The sun had dried up the puddles and everything was glowing in cheerful summer light. Butterflies flitted between blooming flowers and a calm breeze ruffled leafy branches. Everything had survived the storm and now seemed more alive than ever.
When at long last, home came around the bend, I too felt a transformation had taken place.
There was something about the helplessness I had felt that intensified a truth to me: no matter how many ways I try to “make peace”, there is only one thing that can calm the storm – both in me and around me. That one thing is a relationship with Christ.
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you
Fear is so very real. Try as I might, I can’t muster up courage to fight it. It strips me of my confidence…which is precisely where God wants me to be. Only when I throw up my hands and come to Christ, do I find rest. Only when I set my house on the guiding lighthouse of His Word, is my soul safe. Only when I realize that everything I could need and want is in Him, do I know true tranquility.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
When my heart is overwhelmed, I will look up. I will hope. I will rest. Though storm cloud opportunities to fear may be opening up all around me, You are there and in You, there is always morning light.
For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.
Joy to the world! The Lord is come. And He is leading me home.
*Scripture quotations are from Psalm 56 and Isaiah 26