I got in my car this morning at roughly 4:45AM. A light rain was falling. I found that I was attempting to convince myself to thanking God for this rain that has been coming down on and off all night. Optimistically thinking that the rains were subsiding, just in time for my drive into the office!
Thank you Lord, for the rain!
But the rain wasn’t over…
Note from Kip…
Give your burdens to the Lord , and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
Psalms 55:22 (NLT)
I worked my way through Alabaster, Alabama and made my way out onto the highway to head north toward my office. The sprinkles had now upgraded slightly to a steady rain.
Traffic was light, I suppose those who didn’t have to be out in the rain had chosen not to be. I was thankful for a less busy highway heading into Birmingham.
The cruse control was engaged and I settled back focusing as hard as I could on my whereabouts because you really couldn’t see the lane markers except from when they passed by your fenders maybe ten feet away.
This wasn’t what I had in mind Lord, but lets keep going…
About then the traction of my tires to the pavement was completely gone and I felt the car take a brief turn to the left then the tires gripped again jerking me back to alignment with the roadway.
The anti-slip feature of my car immediately kicked in when I began to hydroplane turned off the cruse control. I turned it back on dropping my rate of speed a few miles per hour.
About a minute later the rain was stronger now and once again my car started to float loosely above the payment. Recovery this time was more violent than the prior incident and I decided that I needed to go a bit slower still.
I couldn’t really see the exit ramp from 31 onto 459 but some how I managed to find the lane and make the transition to the beltway around Birmingham.
I thanked the Lord for the light traffic as I eased onto 459 to make my way two exits down to get off on 280 and get to my office.
Then the rain fell as a constant pour. It was almost as if there was a massive bucket being dumped on the car and the windshield wipers were rendered almost useless. Each time they would swipe past my line of sight, I could see a glimpse of a black surface in my path then it quickly disappeared leaving the haze of a thick layer of water accumulated on my windshield.
Were it not for the other vehicles around me I would not have had a clue where my proximity was to the highway. The tires broke traction for brief intervals over and over again and I turned off the cruse control and lowered my speed even further because this was near impossible to navigate.
Several of my fellow drivers had turned on their four-ways to signal there reduced speed had fallen well under the posted minimum. I didn’t turn mine on because that would have required me taking my eyes off the ever so slight opportunity to ascertain where I was in relation to my surroundings.
I was definitely in the storm and the only thing I was focused on were attempting to stay in my lane and asking that the Lord keep an eye out for me because I just couldn’t see!
It was so bad that the distance of those two exits down 459 seemed like miles and miles. Of course under these conditions my speed had dropped to less than half the rate that I might normally drive. I kept wondering if perhaps this was still too fast for conditions but concerned that doing anything other than maintaining what I was doing was the safest thing that I could possibly do.
As I passed the first exit I was questioning if that was the turn that I need to make and I just wasn’t able to see familiar markers. A debait raged for a few seconds as to if I had seen another exit before that or if that was indeed the the first exit and mine lay ahead still further.
I passed the exit and then had those doubts that questioned my decision to continue instead of taking that exit. Hoping for an indication of where I was in relationship to my exit. Then I caught sight of a construction sign that was had been postponed for months about 1000 yards from where the exit ramp began.
I made my way to the far right and on to the exit ramp and left the highway, praising Jesus for my safe delivery.
I was listening to the first chapter of Kings as I pulled into the office parking lot at work. King David was putting Solomon on the throne. I was praising God for who sat o the throne of all creation.
The rain was still heavy and so I sat in the car once I was parked and finished the chapter as the rain pelted my car. When I reached the end of that chapter I bookmarked the place and started to exit my vehicle and scamper into the office building. But the rain had almost completely stopped.
I’d responded appropriately, I thought to myself. All the while, in the back of my mind I knew that I had pressed on perhaps more than I should have and relied a bit too much on the hand of the Devine God to keep me on schedule this morning.
But I found myself pondering the storms we go through and how we react to those situations. Do we call on the Lord right away? Or, must we wait till it is almost too late for Him to intervene? He wants to be more interactive with us than that.
He placed His Spirit in us. Not because His Spirit required accommodation, but because the Lord desired communication. We required guidance, understanding, and joy. He placed His Spirit in us so that we might have a relationship with Him.
It’s sad that we often wait till the last minute to talk to Him about most everything. Even the big events that we have no control over we still try to maintain our speed and course without handing the wheel over to Him. But let the tires break free of the road surface and He’s the first one we want to talk to.
You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.
Psalm 119:114 (NIV)
Why do we wait?
There really is no excuse for us not involving Him in everything we do. How silly and rude is it to have a house guest that we only at specified intervals do we have the ever so brief of conversations with.
For You, Lord, are kind and ready to forgive, rich in faithful love to all who call on You. Lord, hear my prayer; listen to my plea for mercy.
I call on You in the day of my distress, for You will answer me. Lord, there is no one like You among the gods, and there are no works like Yours.
All the nations You have made will come and bow down before You, Lord, and will honor Your name. For You are great and perform wonders; You alone are God.
Psalms 86:5-10 (HCSB)
“You alone are God“!
We just don’t get it do we? Here we have the opportunity of our lives and yet, we choose to isolate our relationship with God until the storm is upon us.
He stilled the storm to a murmur, and the waves of the sea were hushed. They rejoiced when the waves grew quiet. Then He guided them to the harbor they longed for.
Psalms 107:29-30 (HCSB)
I prayed for those other drivers this morning. Regardless of if they knew the Lord or not. I asked for their Devine protection in the storm. I did so because even though I know I have a resource to call on in those times, they likely do not. I specifically asked that God allow them the understanding that their protection this morning was at His hand.
They need to know! We need to know as well. We need to embrace this relationship that Christ died for, to provide for us.
Our salvation isn’t about keeping us through the storms of life. It’s really not even about life eternal. Salvation is keeping us from abandonment now and forever.
With His Spirit living in us, we are not alone. We have who Jesus lovingly referred to as ‘The Comforter’.
And while He is a comforter in times when the storm rages, He is still there and eager to be a comfort to us when the storm has passed as well.
But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.
John 14:26 (AMP)
Notice how the Amplified Version capitalizes each of these names for the Holy Spirit. It is because the are proper names for God living in US! Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor, Counselor, Strengthener, and Standby; Holy Spirit.
I made it through the storm this morning. He was there. He’s always there if we are Christ’s. The real issue is when we choose to call on Him. Do we wait for the storm to be at it’s worst? Or is He invited to be an active perticipant in the sunshine and the rain.
Jesus didn’t give Him to us for the storms. He gave Him to live in us so that we may have life.
A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.
John 10:10 (HCSB)
Life in abundance. Christ came that we could have it. The way He put that abundance in our grasp was His Spirit; Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor, Counselor, Strengthener, and Standby.
The Holy Spirit is standing by, always ready to intercede on our behalf. In the storm, or in the light of the sun. We should be living triumphant lives, not cowering in the storms of life.
You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:8-9 (HCSB)
Let the storms come! WE; the Lord and me, we got this!