We had been driving over an hour. Sue and I were on our way to Concord, North Carolina for a conference one Friday in July.
We didn’t know what to do with ourselves. Two moms away from kids. Left alone in a quiet car, we just might solve the economic crisis or cure world hunger.
But as the interstate turned to mountainous curves, the sky grew dark. Extremely dark. A storm was brewing up ahead and we were driving into the eye of it.
With each mile, I no longer heard my friend. My mouth moved and I nodded a few emphatics “Mmms”, but my mind was on one thing…
That big, black cloud.
My fear of storms developed young. As a little girl, I would hide under beds and in bathtubs, taking serious heed to the weather man’s warning to “stay away from windows.” My grandmother was of no help. Confirming my fears that if I went outside I would surely get “struck down by lightnin’.” I remember once, lightning struck so loud near our house, I thought it was Jesus coming back for me. No lie.
Fast forward again to the car ride. As we approached the storm, my dreams of arriving on time were fading. Because, ahem, Becky Crenshaw ain’t driving through no black cloud glittered with lightning bolts.
I will risk my life at a truck-stop before driving through a dangerous storm.
Mr. Google had mapped our course, and because we were unfamiliar and didn’t know any better, we did exactly what he said. Reading his instructions the best we could, we turned to a state highway which led us into harder rain and black sky. Sue was completely unmoved. I kept thinking, “How is it possible that I am about to wet my pants and she is oblivious. Am I imagining things?”
We continued on and so did the rain. Pounding harder and bolts of lightning drawing near. The sky was dark, making our four o’clock day feel as night.
In the heart of this small town, I spotted a Wendy’s to my right. Without hesitation I whipped in, “I am all of a sudden starving, aren’t you? How about a burger?”
I parked and confessed,”Oh Sue. I am terrified of storms.” Pointing up ahead, “I just can’t drive through that.”
“Do you want me to drive?” She asked.
“No, do you mind if we just go on in and eat an early dinner? Let it pass?”
But as I looked up at my fast-food-safe-house, I noticed a sweet Hispanic women locking the door in front of me. Shaking her head in apology. “No power,” she said.
I looked around us. No power. Anywhere. Every business closed.
Sue looked back to our instructions. “Let me double-check the directions again. I just don’t think this road is right.”
But I had already driven off. Moving deeper towards the eye of the storm. The wind was strong. The rain torrential.
Every traffic light was out. Making this small town even more confusing.
“Hey wait. I really don’t think this is right. We should have gone up one more exit.”
Oh bless God. She had me a “Hey wait.”
I turned that car around and headed opposite of danger. Passing Wendy’s and the dark traffic lights.
Back to the interstate and up to the next exit. The right path.
We were on the wrong road the entire time.
Now on the correct path, our sky above as clear as noonday. And that mean cloud? It hovered above us…but to our right.
For the remainder of our drive, the dark cloud lurked above. But beside of us. A reminder of how quickly one turn could put us in harm’s way.
The line of light and dark was definitive.
One turn to the right would have taken us back into the mess, but our correct path was brilliant with sun.
I instruct you on the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it; do not travel on it. Turn from it and go on your way. The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness. Proverbs 4:10-16
The parallel was too blatant to miss. Stay on the road I have for you, Becky. Don’t misread Instruction. I will protect you. And even though the darkness is before you, or beside you, I will make your path shine like the sun.
Now, I know as well as you that our paths aren’t always full of sunshine and ease. Are you kidding? But how many times have I taken the wrong turn, not paying close enough attention to the Map, only to find myself in the eye of a storm?
An avoidable storm. Countless times.
The interstate signs began welcoming us to our destination. And, I kid you not, this is what the Lord did as we entered Concord, NC.
Can you see it?
A camera can do no justice to the brilliance of this enormous rainbow. God’s stunning colors arched over the entire interstate. Our welcome.
Our reward for staying course.
Today, do you find yourself in the eye of a storm? Have you turned on the wrong road only to find every traffic light out? Are people shaking their heads because they have “no power” to help?
Oh friend. Stop the car. Mr. Google ain’t got a thing on your God.
I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, And crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, And not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16
If the day seems dark, be of good courage. He has all the power. Pull over. Check the Map.
And He will make your crooked path straight.
The darkness light before you.
Lord Jesus, thank you for this picture of your protection. Sometimes it is just this obvious, isn’t it? Keep me on the right path that is well-lit by your Word. Protect me from the storms all around me. If I find myself in the eye of a storm, help me find Your way out. Lead me Lord. Be my guide. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
- Think about God’s faithfulness this morning. Has He brought you from a place of darkness into His light? Share with us.
- Does someone come to mind as you read this? Do you have a friend who is off course? Pray for them.
- And will you take time to forward this message of hope to someone who needs encouragement. God is so good. Their rainbow awaits.
For You will light my lamp; The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. Psalm 18:28