I tell my wife that there are usually 1-2 days a year that I would like to have an all-wheel drive vehicle, and on those days, I probably shouldn’t be out anyway. The rest of the time, I usually get by just fine with front wheel drive and good tires. If you were out and about in the past 24 hours, maybe you saw a vehicle or two in the ditch, hopefully not yours. I put in quite a few miles over the snowy roads and though I drove fairly conservatively, a couple of times I had a wake-up call that things might not be going my way. It wasn’t even more than a second, but I could feel the tires slip on the pavement, letting me know that I was not fully in control of the situation. The second time, just a moment after I noticed a 4 wheel drive truck off the shoulder in a ditch, the car did a slight side slide at highway speeds again. I was extra cautious the next mile or so. It doesn’t take more than a moment for life to go from cruising speed to sideways or upside down, given the right circumstances. Where do you turn when you lose control of the situation?
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46:1-3
I find that experiences with a vehicle can provide many metaphors that may apply to life in general. Taking a variety of routes to get to our destination, mechanical failures, overkill, dealing with adverse conditions, accidents, road rage, etc. can all teach us something about how we live our lives. Trying to negotiate mud roads without sliding off, driving through a blizzard, and having engine trouble have all led me to turn my attention to God for help when things were not going as planned. Maybe these are teachable moments where He can get my attention more quickly than in other ways. Or, it is a quick reminder that all my actions have consequences that also impacts others, regardless of the situation. May God open our eyes to the reality of any selfish or destructive habits we have picked up in our lives.
In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. Psalm 18:6
Where do you turn for strength and stability when life takes a U turn? Whether that is a career change, financial trouble, illness, or death of someone in your life, sometimes the future may seem gloomy. When going through some of these seasons when the outcome seems out of our hands, we can deal with it in healthy or destructive ways. Trying to ‘go it alone’ and isolating ourselves is not the best route in the long run. We may even take this negative attitude toward God when we believe we are being punished, treated unfairly, or getting what we deserve. Talking it out with God and/or a trusted friend may help us get beyond the gloom of our current circumstances to see the bigger picture. When things are out of our control, often we have to trust in the experience or expertise of others to help us get through it. If you know someone going through a difficult time, offer to spend some time with them where you can listen, just as God would do for you.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
So, the next time your life takes an unexpected turn, dip, or dead end, remember that you will get through it. Life almost never goes as planned, but with the right relationships and perspective on life, we can deal with it. An when we each reach the ultimate end of this life in our physical death, may we be reminded that something better awaits us through that trial as well. When life goes out of control, remember to put your trust on the One who is in control of all things. May the peace of God be with you now and always.
Strength and Courage in Christ,