Have you ever driven in a blizzard? I was driving in a blizzard recently on my way to a wedding, of all things. This drive took me down scary highway and frightening roads, including ten miles of either going up a steep hill or going down one. The visibility was awful, and my wipers kept collecting slush and ice so they didn’t clear the quickly accumulating snow well at all. I pulled off at a coffee shop, whose parking lot was not yet plowed, and wondered if I would get stuck. The wedding was in the woods up the mountains, and while it was a late start, it was beautiful, full of God’s people with the presence of the Spirit of God in the midst of that place, snow and all. A union of a man and a woman still took place. I was the pianist and singer, and nothing was going to keep me from being there. Playing that baby grand piano in that sweet little chapel for two hours while waiting for guests to arrive was so serene. I’ve been at weddings that had bad weather, including one with winds so harsh the window to the reception hall broke. But this one was one of my favorite weddings, even though the fear of having to drive home back up and down those ten miles of steep hills lay before me, as it was still snowing.
Have you been in any storms in your life that seemed to have peace in the midst of them? Did you feel like you didn’t even understand why, but there was no where else you’d rather be? You felt courage, which is not the absence of fear but rather the strength to endure while you face those fears. The Spirit of God could be palpated He was so close, and your heart was filled with joy. Others around you might not understand, and even think you are crazy for standing strong in that situation, but wild horses couldn’t keep you away. Missionaries often feel this way when on the field, bringing their sweet, precious families into the midst of the unknown and even known dangers. Family members may question the validity of their call. But while they realize those dangers are real, they are ready to face them with sweet assurance that they at least are not going through it alone, but with their loving heavenly Father, who has a plan and a purpose for their lives.
Next time you stand at the threshold of something scary that you know you need to cross over for the next chapter in your life, or a new challenging task, make sure God wants you there, and if so, cross over with joy and confidence, enjoying the sweet peace that comes in the midst of that trial, with all the waves and the winds, and yes, sometimes the snow blowing all around you. Looking back, it may be one of your sweetest memories.
Psalm 46:1-3, 10,11: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.”