Thursday, 7 January 2010

A Snowy Adventure

It was all fairly Biblical really. Mary and Jo were on a journey. A baby was expected. They needed a place to stay. Danger was encountered. And there were angels....

The snow had started as we were driving northwards on the motorway, reinforcing the popular held belief that it is, in fact, grim up north. Steady at first, it reminded me of a swirling mass of dandelion seeds, dancing gently on a summer’s breeze. Only much colder. As we progressed, however, it became the kind of heavy, inexorable snowstorm that constitutes driving hell. Regardless, we ploughed forwards and were able to fulfil our intended purpose before beginning to head home. Then it happened,... we were stuck.

Not just any old stuck, you understand, but stuck in a most
inconvenient manner in the middle of the road. Passers by looked on and hasty prayers were said. And then, out of the snow, two middle aged, bearded and be-hatted northern blokes came to our rescue. Pushing us effortlessly out of the snow drift in which we had become stuck, back onto the navigable part of the carriageway, they could only be angels. Angels, of course, can come in either human or celestial form, and which of the two these gentlemen were I would not like to say. This I do know, however; they were sent by our heavenly Father to help us in a time of need, and we blessed them wholeheartedly and praised God for his mercy and provision as we crept gingerly forwards, bound for home.

It wasn’t long before we were calling for heavenly help and assistance once more. As we approached the brow of a remote rural hill, headed towards the Southbound motorway, we began to slide downwards, out of control in the direction of the roadside barrier. We didn’t hit the barrier with much force but were now completely off the road in the middle of nowhere in a freezing blizzard. Ever the pessimist, thoughts crossed my mind of walking miles to find help and dying of hypothermia along the way. Oh help us God. And surely help came.

A red truck came over the brow of the hill and slowly pulled up behind us. Two men got out of the cab. Middle aged, bearded and be-hatted chaps with a distinct northern twang. Could it be the same men as before? Surely the snow was playing havoc with our sensibilities, but once more our angel helpers achieved the seemingly impossible. They pushed the car, initially embedded in a snowdrift and rammed firm against the barrier, back onto the road. And then they were gone.

Having given up on our quest to get home we now sought a place of refuge overnight. We had a couple more hairy incidents along the way but God protected us and guided us to safety. I have to say that it wasn’t the most pleasant journey I’ve ever made but probably the one from which I’ve learned most. I knew in my heart, all along, that God would take care of us if we trusted him. I felt that the journey was a bit like life. If we place ourselves in God’s hands we will be safe. We will still have to go through difficult and challenging times, and sometimes it will seem as though we are heading off course, veering out of control, or stranded by the wayside. But he will never leave us or forsake us. When, shortly after arriving at our destination, I was moaning to God about some other difficulty in life (how quickly my gratitude and faith can turn to doubt and grumbling) he very clearly told me that if he would bring me through this transient, physical snowstorm how much more would he bring me through life’s literal storms. And what did I reply? Amen to that.

In postscript, I would just like to thank everyone for their prayers, texts and kindness during our snowy adventure, and Rosemary for her exemplary child-minding skills. Thank you. It must also be noted that our esteemed minister managed to get to work every day throughout the cold snap,... and without using his car. Well done Stuart!!!