When God Is With Us
My heart quickened at the sound. I’d checked the weather the night before to be sure my early morning departure was not going to be negatively impacted. Everything had looked fine. But God is with us and must’ve had other plans. Perhaps He intended to challenge my comfort zone.
My husband and I had a strong feeling of dread for weeks leading up to this journey we’d committed to. We want to be supportive of our children. However, the homebody temperament entrenched deeply within us chains us with great comfort to our joyful abode.
After putting my boots on at five in the morning, I slipped out the door in my pajamas. The heater in my 1990 Dodge Daytona wasn’t working well, and I’d hoped running the car for an hour would encourage it to offer my husband and I some warmth. At 6:10, ten minutes later than we wanted, we slipped into the thawed car with a sigh of relief that it was, in fact, warm.
Darkness and Dread are Broken By the Light
It was dark out, snowing, and the roads were wet. Not a good combination for my fifty-something aging eyes. I gripped my steering wheel tightly on the first section of highway as a tractor trailer truck passed by. It blanketed my windshield with slush, and I frantically tried to glimpse the road through it while my wipers slapped ineffectively back and forth.
“I’m still not feeling this,” my husband uttered through clenched teeth. He was likely as white knuckled as I was. Shortly after, the heater began blowing cold air, which it did for the next two hours. He pulled the hood of his sweatshirt up over his head and laid another sweatshirt across his lap. My wool coat and hot flashes kept me comfortable, though I did slip my gloves on eventually.
It was a few hours of travel into this nine and a half hour trip to Philadelphia before we broke free of the dreary snow and emerged into sunshine which did the job my car’s heater couldn’t accomplish. It was then that we finally felt a strong shift within to acceptance and cheerfulness.
With God, Support of Others Can Lead to So Much More
One of our daughters, a full-time YouTube personality, had chosen to enroll in the Beauty Institute. Beauty, inner and outer, is the main focus of her YouTube channel, and becoming a licensed cosmetologist, she felt, was going to be beneficial to her position. Her commitment to both the work she puts into her channel and the hours required to achieve this day’s certification was worthy of our nineteen and a half hour round trip.
We arrived in time, visited and celebrated her monumental achievement, and departed once more in the dark, facing a final ten hour push. I prayed for alertness and safety to make it home without resorting to stopping for the night anywhere else.
On our departure, Philly’s five o’clock traffic quickly confused and overwhelmed me, though it had been pointed out that we were merely on the outskirts and not really within the city. Eventually, our GPS got us on track. Choosing to skirt New York City may have added hours to our trip but, in our thoughts, doing so continued our lives. We left Pennsylvania and slipped into New Jersey where, on a quiet back road, we reached a roadblock. Our old-fashioned Garmin redirected us, only for us to end up pulled over, along with many other cars, facing police lights coming in our direction.
Life’s Journeys Are In God’s Control
The first police car passed, then another, and another. What was taking place, we wondered? A parade? A fallen soldier? It was dark out and they were traveling slowly. A line of tractor trailer trucks came into view and it soon became apparent. We were in the presence of the Wreaths Across America convoy. I felt honored, humbled in fact. God had led us to witness a moment of this caravan’s long journey. All was quiet, except for the music coming from my radio, but I was fixated on the long parade of vehicles and flashing lights passing solemnly by.
We moved on, our hearts set on a house in the North Country of New Hampshire, still many, many hours away. The calmer back roads led us to highways filled with throngs of other travelers, all on missions of their own. A bend in the highway led me to glance up to my right, to the hillside beyond the on and off ramps crossing above us, to the houses nestled together with their lights flickering in the dark atmosphere, and to the moon hanging boldly above them.
Words won’t do it justice, but that beautiful orange-hued moon, overlooking those houses, filled up much of the space above the hillside. It was just more than half full and lay mostly on its side, rather than up and down. It was so big in size, so bold in color, and it felt as though God had hung it there for me. A shooting star streaked down beside it, and I was in awe!
God Leads the Way and Points Us to Our King
Hours later, that moon, smaller now that it was higher in the night sky, and the shooting stars that continued to impress me, lit up the empty highway around me as though it were daylight. The brilliance might’ve caused issue if the roads had been busy, but being the sole traveler in the middle of the night, the strong light kept me alert and in wonder. God was with me, in front of me, and guiding my way. I had no doubt.
We arrived at home just shy of three-thirty in the morning, thrilled to be alive and in the comfort of our own space. Our dog was just as excited! After getting a good few hours of sleep, I awoke eager to encourage you in your faith. God is with us, and Christmastime is a great time to reflect on that.
You see, God walked the earth within the form of His Son, Jesus, born of a virgin, on a night in which the night sky was amazing, too. The lyrics to the Christmas hymn There’s A Song in the Air speaks volumes of the meaning of that night and “the star” God used to highlight the cradle of our King.
There’s A Song in the Air! There’s A Star in the Sky!
The star “rains its fire while the beautiful sing, for the manger of Bethlehem cradles a King!” That King, the Lord of the earth, “in the light of that star, shining over the homes of the nations” was “declaring that Jesus is King!” And just as I had on the dark night of a long journey, “we rejoice in the light and we echo the song that comes down thro’ the night from the heavenly throng. Ay! We shout to the lovely evangel they bring, and we greet in His cradle our Saviour and King!”
God was with us then and He’s with us now in the form of His Holy Spirit. Seek His light! Let the brilliance of His star touch your soul! Feel His presence and respond to His love. God is good to reveal Himself to those who seek. Seek Him, my friend. He is good.
Click here to read about another Christmas hymn and how I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day!
Click here to read the first chapter of and/or to order The Light Within, a novel in which a car ride leads to tragedy but also to transformation for many. Yes, God is with us even in times of difficulty! Available in audio as well.
Matthew 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.