Be strong and of good courage ... fear not, nor be dismayed: for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee ... (I Chronicles 28:20).
I clearly remember the night, black as pitch from the absence of moon and stars, that my two little girls and I were helplessly lost in the Ozarks. With Christmas presents and luggage snugly packed into our little 1975 Super Beetle, we had journeyed from Chicago into the 10-hour trip to visit Grandma in the farthest southwest corner of Missouri. Ten hours turned to 12 and then 14, and the needle on our gasoline gauge listed frighteningly toward the red space marked "E."
If you have ever driven through the Ozarks, you will know that traveling the seemingly unending narrow roads closely resembles a roller coaster ride with its climbing, curving, and dipping. Had it been daylight, and had I known the way, or at least how to get found, we might have enjoyed the ride with an intermittent and gleeful "Wheeeeeee!" It was scary, though, especially when our headlights revealed signs that read, "Impassable During High Water," and then we'd plunge into the next dip, not knowing whether rains had preceded our adventure.
As I gratefully clung to the newly discovered knowledge that God truly loves me and mine, I realized that trusting Him was yet uncomfortably foreign, and I knew that in my feeble efforts to appeal to His divine protection and care, I was still as wobbly as a newborn kitten. What choice did I have? With my most courageous sounding voice I responded to my children's questions, "Mommy, are we lost?" with words of faith and confidence in the only One who could put an end to this nightmarish excursion. So we prayed together, calmly and humbly, asking God to stay with us, to not fail or forsake us, and to direct us to the successful completion of our trip. We talked about God's love for us and how He, who has all power, would keep us safe from harm.
A single small building, lit from within, appeared in the dark. It was a gas station in the middle of nowhere, and the proprietor was just closing up. He turned his gas pump back on for us, and when I inquired about our destination he was able to give us precise directions. I am still in awe of God in that night, so many years ago, wondering more than ever about the "angels" God sends to protect and guide us.
Throughout what manner of darkness am I called to trust God today? How shall I tap into my measure of faith in order to allow Him to dispel the fear?
Lord, today I choose to trust you in all circumstances, for you are worthy, and I praise and thank you for your divine protection and care wherever life might find me.
Adapted from "Finding the Flowers in a Prickly World" by Dianne Finnegan Wilson. You may e-mail Ms. Wilson by visiting www.pensepublishing.com.