Last week the spring weather we've enjoyed for most of January and February was interrupted by a brief but effective snowstorm. For a few hours the flakes pounded down and we had a winter wonderland. Unfortunately, this all happened on the same morning I had agreed to meet a friend and her family at a local children's museum so our kids could play together.
When I first set out I figured roads would be snowy but not too bad. Boy was I wrong. Within ten minutes or so I was in white-out conditions. I couldn't see more than a few feet on any side and I was desperately wishing there was a reasonable way to turn around and bag it all. I couldn't see landmarks along the way to be sure of exactly where I was or how much farther I had to go. After a few minutes I told the kids I really needed them to pray for our safety.
"I already did," Jake said.
Then Grace piped in and started praying for us, and I felt an instant measure of calm as I was wrapped in the sweetness of a three-year-old's faith.
We inched along our way and somehow made it safely. It has been a while since I have been so relieved to be anywhere. Afterwards I told the kids we needed to stop and thank the Lord for our safety. Once again, Jake said he had already prayed his thanks. And once again Grace piped in and prayed and thanked the Lord for His help.
Sometimes life presents storms that we wouldn't choose. They're not comfortable and we wish desperately for a way out. We can't see the way and don't know when we will find the light at the end of life's messes. Sometimes there is nothing we can do but plead for the Lord's protection, comfort, and guidance. Some storms hit quickly and surely--last like week's snowstorm or my cancer. Some creep up on us and it takes us a while to realize we're in over our heads and we need the One who can walk on water to pull us back up.
As much as no one wants these experiences, when they are past we often look back on them and feel grateful for what we learned--the grace and strength God granted us, the packets of light that arrived at just the right time. When all is said and done, we wouldn't trade them for what we gleaned in the process.