I’m always looking for the God lessons in life’s ordinary situations. However, this week, I didn’t have to look very hard. It was very clear to Jim and I that God was literally speaking to us through our circumstances.
Over a month ago, we purchased an older Honda Silver Wing scooter for me to ride. When we bought it, we knew it didn’t run right, but knew the problem shouldn’t be anything big. The bike had run well for our friend’s wife until her death about three years ago. It had a sale price we could afford and we decided to take the risk. So we bought the bike and immediately had it picked up by the Honda dealer to repair.
It was there for over four weeks until this Thursday when we finally got the call, it was done! It was about an hour away from home so we had to schedule time to pick it up. Not to mention, neither of us had ever ridden a motorcycle on the road and the class we took to learn to ride was over six weeks ago.
We were watching the weather and decided that Friday seemed to be the best bet to pick it up. It might be a little cooler, but shouldn’t be too bad rain wise. As we started out to pick it up, rain that had not been on the radar earlier popped up and it literally rained the entire way to our destination. On the way, we both wondered if we should turn back or keep going. I said a prayer and kept asking God to clear the way.
As we were almost there, it seemed like we came to a “clearing” in the midst of the storm. We got excited to think that maybe it was going to end. However, everywhere we looked, there were still storm clouds all around us. I decided to pull up the weather map to see what our future held. As I looked at the map, I could see a huge storm all around us with this little bubble of clearing that we were clearly in. However, the part to the west of us was only a small line. Being able to see our circumstances from an aerial viewpoint, even though it seemed that our future was bleak, I knew in just a few short minutes the storm would be over.
It didn’t really work that way, though, as we picked up the bike, it was continuing to rain. We were fearful about Jim having his first ride on wet pavement. To add fuel to the fire, the salesman told us, “Be careful out there. The pavement is very slick as a result of this weather.”
However, we both still felt this was the time to get the bike home, so we continued on. We tested it out in a nearby neighborhood and by the time we were assured it was running and we had a full tank of gas, the streets had dried up and we were ready to head home.
We needed to stay on back roads as Jim was inexperienced and didn’t want to ride on the highway the first day of riding. Our GPS wanted to take us to the logical way, the highways—the fast and easy path—not knowing the dangers it held for a novice rider. Realizing the path we must take for our own good, we pulled over, reset the GPS to not go on highways and continued on. Having a firm direction, it got easier but there were still several detours diverting our route along the way. A one hour trip had quickly turned into a two hour trip and we still had one-half hour to travel before making it home.
I knew Jim had to be tired, so I pulled my car over into a restaurant parking lot to pause before continuing our journey. It was not a good choice of places to stop…there were what I call thugs all around and people with obvious mental disorders wandering aimlessly through the parking lot. We quickly chose to get back on the bike and head home.
As we turned the corner heading towards our last fifteen minutes, the sun shone brightly ahead. As it was shining brightly before us, behind us another storm brewed. Ignoring what was going on behind us, Jim lowered his sun shield on his helmet and headed home, full speed.
This might seem like an ordinary stormy day. But for us, it felt like a God thing. It was as though He was saying to us all day, “Jim and Lori, there will be storms that seem to never end. But persevere anyway. You won’t know when they are going to end, but please trust Me when I say, ‘It won’t be long now.’ I can see your circumstances from an aerial view and know you will be out of the storm very soon.”
“You may grow weary and think that you can’t go any more, but stopping along the path I have ordained for you will only allow fear to set in and others to distract you from your purpose. Keep moving My children. Trust that I have your back and only want the best for you. Don’t listen to those who caution you that this might not be safe. If it is the path I have for you, I will watch over you and protect you through it all.”
Yes, the trip took us two and one-half hours instead of one. There were a lot of detours and even some scary moments along the way. Taking the road less traveled can often be a harder way to go.
From now on when I feel that I can’t keep going, I will pull up the mental picture in my mind of the storm at my back and the sunshine on my face, telling me to keep going. Keep traveling towards the One who gives you strength and lights the way.
Thank you, Lord, for watching over us and for speaking to us through our storms in life. Might we ever praise You for all that You have done to keep us safe while we travel, trusting You, on the path that You have ordained for our lives! You make even the darkest storms seem bright!
Psalm 16: 9-11 (NKJV)
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. 10 For You will not leave my soul …, 11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Philippians 3:12-14 (NKJV)
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.