The whole family was in our Toyota Highlander last night, buckled in. I was driving, my husband was in the passenger seat, and our three kids were in the back. Southbound on I-43, we drove in the dark to Milwaukee on our way to a play. We were cruising along, happily chatting about random subjects when suddenly everything went black, as if I had passed out, but I hadn’t. I was perfectly conscious but I couldn’t see anything. Nothing. It was as if my eyes had been gouged out and not a trace of light created even a shadow to help me gain my bearings.
And it wasn’t just me.
My whole family experienced the same thick, complete darkness. No light to guide us. There I was, panicked, holding the steering wheel, driving 65 miles per hour, and none of us could see anything.
What had happened?
I didn’t know.
Panicked, I asked . . .
“Does everyone have their seatbelts on? I don’t know what’s going on! We might crash!”
Everyone assured me they were safely buckled, but they were as scared as I.
My hands clenched the steering wheel so tightly they hurt. I tried desperately to see but I couldn’t. I knew I couldn’t stop in the middle of the expressway because what if other drivers were experiencing the same darkness? We might get hit hard from behind due to no one seeing us. And we might crash into someone in front because we couldn’t see them either. We couldn’t even see the road we were on. All we could sense was that we were moving, fast and totally blind. All I could do was slow down and pray . . .
“Oh Lord Jesus! Help us! We can’t see ANYTHING! I don’t know if we’re on the road or off the road. I can’t see cars ahead of us or behind us! There is no light! We can’t SEE! What should I do? I can’t just STOP!”
Suddenly, I felt a vibration and determined it was the rough edge on the side, warning drivers when they’ve veered too far from the center. I must have swerved too far left. So I turned the wheel a bit to the right. But I felt the vibration on that side too. I must have over-corrected! All I could do was keep going, foot on the gas pedal, letting the vibrations on each side of the road keep me in the middle, praying my way through the dark, trusting God would keep us safe.
What a nightmare!
Funny thing is, before I fell asleep last night, I asked God to show me something in my dreams—to remind me of something important—in life—in all I do—even when I think I can see clearly on my own.
I woke up relieved.
The darkness had just been a nightmare—a nightmare turned beautiful because I knew, even in the midst of the deepest darkness, God was guiding me, keeping me on the road with the rumbling of His side strips—His word and His love—to keep me going straight and safe.
Have you ever felt so completely blind, so thoroughly scared to keep moving because you couldn’t see your road in life and all the possible, life-threatening hazards left you near-paralyzed, not knowing how or where to move? Have you ever wondered what to do when all you seem able to do is hold the wheel tight and pray for help because you know you need something, Someone more able than you to direct you? The bright light of God’s word helps us keep going no matter what dark and potentially treacherous situations we might find ourselves.
I woke this morning with a few specific verses, shining bright and clear in my mind, certain God had answered my prayer to remind me in my dreams of His truth, to guide me on my way. Perhaps these will help your heart be still in dark places?
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:6- 9
And . . .
“Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:25-27
And . . .
“We live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
And one more . . .
“You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. 2 Samuel 22:29-33
No matter what—I can keep my eyes on God and my mind on His word. I can trust the One who created all—who created me—who loves all—who loves me. He is true to His word. He will be true to you too.
“For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end. Psalm 48:14