When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
Last Saturday while driving our daughter Nai, I convinced myself I could escape the looming storm. Immense dark clouds began to dominate the sky, but I decided to stay out a few more moments. Before I could blink steadily, Nai woke up from her nap, and rain beat at my windows, seeming to audibly mock this stubborn decision to ride it out. With worn window shield wipers, I hastily squinted to view the path before us, now obscured by puddles and puddles of rain.
God, I prayed, cover our car, Kes (my husband), while he is at work, Mom and Dad, me and Nai. I felt my stomach somersault, anxiety bubbling rapidly. Driving in rain frightens me, it becomes a kind of paralyzing fear, the fear of loosing control. Quickly my mind returns to an accident from years ago where my car abruptly skidded, and I lost control, despite a steadfast grip on the wheel. These days I pray and practice deep breathing to drive down hills during rain or thunderstorms; it’s usually a simple prayer: God, help me.
As I continued driving, slowly the once torrential downpour subsided into a soft drizzle. Today, writing this devotional, surrounded by the chorus of nature, and reflecting on last weekend’s experience, I realize God sat beside me that day and continues to daily. Steady. Strong. Comforting. Transforming panic into power to move forward.
When we surrender ego, fear, control, stress, heartache, God guides us through life’s hardships, mends the brokenness we stubbornly cling to out of habit, and gradually, we move through, one difficulty at a time. The divine presence is there, sweet friends, even when you feel most alone. Journaling our prayers, sitting outside in green spaces, resting our consciousness by unplugging, embracing all of these tools, helps ground our faith, while strengthening us for the journeys ahead.
Dear God –
Help me to rely on you for everything, particularly during the height of stress, confusion and pain, when I am tempted to soothe myself with distractions from the external world. Lay the promises of your words in the tapestry of my mind and heart, an ever-present reminder that all things are possible with you (Luke 1:37).