When the Rubber Meets the Road
Boy! Look at that tire there!
A couple of months back on the way home from a 4-hour trip to Grandma’s, we literally had a rubber meets the road experience when our tire blew in the middle of the highway. We were next to a semi truck who (thank the LORD!) was able to move out of our way so we could safely change lanes and move onto the shoulder. Our kids were holding onto their seats for dear life. I looked in the passenger’s side mirror and watched huge chunks of tire fly up into the air missing all of the cars in its path. It sounded like gunfire and the van shook violently like we were driving over a jagged mountain range. As we pulled over to the side of the highway, I thanked GOD that my husband had his CDL license and knew how to safely maneuver our 15-passenger van during the emergency. I thanked HIM that after driving in an hour of rain, we’d hit a dry patch when the tire blew. And hours later, still sitting on the side of the road, I thanked HIM for the kind couple who stopped by to see what they could do, and when they couldn’t help, they stayed with us until someone came by who could.
Do you ever look around and wonder why bad things happen? I do. Not that things are particularly difficult for me right now, but we have had our share of bumps and bruises. Lately, it’s been my family and friends who are going through difficult seasons. Some have lost loved ones, or are facing sickness or financial hardships. It seems like these days my prayers are filled with lots of pleas to GOD for a little space for our hearts to just breathe. I find myself languishing in the suffering, feeling more and more disheartened by the hardships of others, especially when I’ve been just a hop, skip and jump away from similar circumstances.
In the past, it’s been my default to try not to “feel” and just remind myself that all storms pass, but this always left me feeling detached and only allowed me to offer a superficial response to other’s circumstances or even relating to my own. Turns out what I thought was self-protection (self-preservation) did just the opposite. It left me numb and negatively impacted my relationship with GOD. The more I separated myself from the pain of the reality, the steeper the climb back to a sense of peace became. What I knew in my heart to be true—that GOD doesn’t forsake us—became the enemy of my deep need to insulate myself from the uncertainties of life.
This post isn’t meant to be a downer but rather one of hope in the midst of hard times. GOD wants us to feel deeply, even when it hurts, and while it’s difficult to face hardships, there’s something about the pain that reminds us that we need something greater than ourselves to fill the void.
Life is a living breathing entity full of twists and turns and unexpected forks in the road. Our love and compassion for one another (and ourselves) is what connects us and allows us to hang on to the single threads when the ropes of life become tattered. The kind strangers who took a moment to feel empathy toward our little family and stand on the side of the road with us spoke to the deep places of my heart. It reminded me that even on those days when I feel stranded, lost or confused that hope is always nearby to offer support until the answer I need comes along.
My prayer for you this holiday season is that you’ll embrace the good in all its beauty, face the bad with a willingness to surrender those things out of your control, and no matter what pierces your heart, remember that you’re not alone.
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
(2 Corinthians 1: 3-4)