I looked up from whichever distraction I had chosen to occupy my mind on that nine hour journey south. The blue SUV to the right was edging into our lane, inches from knocking us into the concrete median. My renaissance man swerved to avoid the inevitable crash, yet at 70 miles per hour that sharp jolt of the wheel was all it took for us to unwillingly surrender control. This car, which within it held everything I loved most in the world, my heart made up of three beautiful children and a faithful friend, rocked back and forth, in and out of lanes, dodging passing cars, and guardrails. My love tried to regain control, but simply could not. We spun 180 degrees as we crossed three lanes. Facing the on-ramp where I was certain we’d meet our last breath, I heard him cry out, “Jesus, please.”
Within moments, the car landed on the opposite edge of the highway, out of the way of oncoming cars and inches from the guardrail.
It was as if it had been placed there.
It was as if for that one moment, as eternal as it felt, all of the traffic that had occupied the highway had been cleared out of our way.
It was as if someone knew for that short stretch of time we would need three lanes of room to remain unscathed, when for up until that point the road had only been made up of two.
It was as if I was meant to look up.
It was as if we were meant to survive.
To experience it, but to survive it.
I realize that it is not always the case. Sometimes we are left to survive when others are not. I know that feeling too, do you?
Deep breaths. Gratitude. No words, just tears. Streams of gratitude.
It was as if God was watching over us in that moment, but the truth, He always is.
The cancer-free diagnosis, the heart attack survived, the sick child fully healed, the accident avoided, the marriage saved. Sometimes in moments like these we see more clearly his hand and it’s easier to trust his heart. But how many times have we been inches away from hitting a concrete wall? Protected, shielded, guided away from inevitable brokenness and led to a place of safety.
I don’t just mean dodging painful experiences, but walking through them covered by the presence of God, awakened by the power of his Word—a deep well of promises that pain often brings to life, and comforted by those who love the Lord and bring light when we are fighting the darkness.
Had we all not made it out of that terrifying near-accident, could I still be filled with gratitude? Could my heart still be content? My faith unshaken? Is my treasure stored up in these earthly gifts or in the Creator of each?
It is possible to be in a place where we are as thankful for the walls we hit as for the ones we miss, when we see that experiencing pain is not God sweeping us away, but rather a call to draw us near. God uses each experience to grow us, shape us, form us and teach us more about his unfailing love.
For in this fallen world we will have trouble, but we can take heart that this is not our eternal home.
We can be content no matter what the circumstance, because He is in control.
We can survive suffering on this earth, because He suffered on our behalf.
And his suffering brought Life, eternal life, so that our suffering could be but momentary. Free of fear and worry. Resting in the full assurance that ‘it is well, it is well,” with our soul.
Worship: I love music and I love to share it. Each song is for each post. Enjoy! Psalm 42– The Sing Team
© Tamara Gurley 2015