Driving Blind in the Snow
Not long ago I experienced driving blind in the midst of a storm during a day trip with my mom to a city two hours away. The highway we normally drive on wound in and out of mountains, through flat sections, and, the scariest of all, over Cabbage Hill where the weather can blind you to the sides of the road. The Cabbage Hill road climbs at a six-percent-grade road that twists and turns with towering hills on one side and sheer drop-offs on the other. This perilous stretch of road near Deadman Pass challenges the best of drivers. These winding roads took the lives of nine travelers this January.
As my mom and I drove over Cabbage Hill that spring morning, everything went smoothly, for there was no snow or ice to threaten the roads. We arrived at the city, spent an enjoyable evening there, and headed home just as the sun set. . . . and the snow fell.
Imagine the situation. You suddenly find yourself driving blind during a snowstorm on a curvy road.
My car does not have studded tires and cannot properly grip the road. My windshield wipers are old and unable to wipe all the snow off my windshield. I am not an experienced driver, so a lot was against me. As the snow fell and we continued to drive, we wondered how Cabbage Hill would treat us. We were in for a challenge above my expectations.
The moment we began the steep climb up the snake-like road, a fog settled across the hills. Enough snow had fallen to form a layer of ice across the road. Ice. Snow. Fog. No studded tires. Darkness. Hills. Cliffs. Not a good combination.
As we began the trek uphill, I began to panic. The headlights could only illuminate a measly four feet ahead of the car. I saw the road ahead of me a mere second before I drove over it. The cliffs and the hills were blanketed by fog and snow. My mom told me to pull over so I could calm down. As we came to a stop, we noticed every car had done the same as the passengers waited for the storm to pass. But how long would that take? Our car tires were being buried with each passing minute as the snow continued to pile up. “We have to get home,” my mom said. “You can do this.”
I swallowed hard, gripped the steering wheel, and turned onto the road once more, fortunately immediately behind a semi-truck. The truck’s lights were far better than ours and allowed the driver to see more of the road. We began a slow, nerve-racking drive up the hill. All I allowed myself to think was to follow the truck. I felt helpless as I realized I had no control over the situation. I desperately wanted to see the sides of the road so that I could recognize where I was in relation to home. I could see nothing so I knew nothing. As we crept along our surroundings did not appear to change and it looked, and felt, as though we were not moving at all. I did not know where I was, what the road looked like ahead, or how far we still had to go. I knew nothing; I was a blind traveler threatened by numerous dangers led by something much bigger with an improved view of what was to come. Fortunately, trials usually come to an end and this one was no exception. When we finally left the foggy roads behind us, home had never looked so good! Yet, in the midst of it all, I heard God whisper in my ear: “This is like following Me.”
What did I learn? The whole experience taught me much about myself and much about how to follow and trust God in difficult times.
Things to consider:
- When have you felt caught in a dark, icy storm with no sight of home?
- What did you do?
- Looking back, did the circumstance improve your character, walk with God, view of life, etc.?
- How has your walk with God through difficulties reshaped you? Why or why not?
- If you are currently challenged by a circumstance, what is your attitude, bitter and questioning God’s will or clinging to His faithfulness and the promise of freedom?
Everyone goes through storms. Notice the key word is through. There is another side you will come to, one filled with God’s peace. You will survive, for God walks with you and “wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor. 4:17b).