Wind, Sand, and God’s Hand

IMG_5530-287x215.jpgI was so blessed to be heading to my daughter’s home in West Texas for the birth of another grandbaby, Katie’s second child. She lives just far enough away from me that I had made an overnight stop at a hotel so I only had a little over three hours of travel on the second day. I didn’t rush that morning – I was taking the last few hours to bank my energy to meet the needs of my daughter’s household for the next few weeks. Katie’s final month of pregnancy had been difficult for her, and with an active two-year-old and the birth of the baby seeming imminent, I knew I needed to have some extra strength to take on this temporary live-in role.
The wind was blowing steadily when I left my waypoint on day two, but it wasn’t causing any particular problems. I made a rest stop about an hour after I started, but because I thought that gas prices might be better further into the trip and the gauge indicated I would be fine for a while, I elected to move on. It wasn’t long after that the wind more than doubled in velocity, and of course, I was in very flat terrain driving past acres of dirt with no noticeable vegetation. It didn’t take long for visibility to be limited to just a few feet in front of my car. There were times when I couldn’t see to determine if I was actually in the correct lane. I significantly slowed down, and I put on my flashers praying I would avoid an accident. The word “haboob,” a severe desert sandstorm, had entered my mind. Apparently this was not that particular weather phenomenon, but you could have fooled me. It was in the thick of the storm that my car began to lurch and then took to just creeping along the road. Before my car stopped moving altogether, I did pull over onto the small shoulder. When I came to a full stop, I was barely off the road, and I was again concerned that a car could easily run into me. I called my husband and my daughter, and we guessed that between a malfunctioning gas gauge and the dirt and dryness of the storm, I was now out of gas.
Along with wind and sand, the outside temperature was hot, and of course, I could not open windows, which caused me to sweat profusely and feel light-headed and slightly ill. I did step outside the car for a moment, but it was like being hit by a sandblaster, and I quickly got back in. I had water to drink, but the more sips I had, the more I could feel the need for a restroom. I began to pray, and I asked God to be with me and to help me in this situation. I thanked him for his care, and I sang a little praise song. My daughter had tried contacting local authorities and my husband the insurance company for roadside assistance, but the police could not find me and roadside assistance was going to take quite a while to get there. Because I couldn’t charge my phone, I was concerned that the battery would run down and I would be unable to stay connected with family. I began to feel somewhat disoriented, and I continued to ask the Lord for his assistance.
It was then that I was able to see a pick-up truck on the opposite side of the road, which slowed down and stopped directly across from me. The man inside weathered the biting sand to come over and ask how he could help. I had to open the door to talk, and through gritty teeth and the competing wind I shouted out that though my gauge was not indicating that I was empty, I was pretty sure I was out of gas. I told him that I was waiting for someone from either an area law enforcement agency or my insurance company to help me get some gasoline. At that point, the man said he had a five-gallon container of gas in his truck and that he would be glad to fill me up to get me back on the road. After putting the gas in my tank, he actually followed me to a station in the next town about eight miles up the road. His name was Dean, and I told him he was an answer to prayer, an angel if you will. After thanking him profusely and offering him some cash to refill his container, he left and I was able to get back on the road to head to Katie’s. One week later our precious grandson was born, and I had a busy yet wonderful time being a hands-on grandma to Jordyn and little Caden, and hopefully a blessing to my daughter and her husband as well.
Though we often do not know the when, where, or why of our challenges, we can absolutely know the who intervening in our circumstances. I have no doubt that God’s hand was never far away and that he was aware of each part of the scenario that played out that day even before it occurred. He was at the ready to care for me and answer my prayers for help in his perfect timing. The prophet Daniel was in great need of answers as he mourned and mulled over the difficulties being faced by his people. He had an encounter with a heavenly visitor and he was very afraid, but the man said to him, “‘O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.’ And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. Then he said to me, ‘Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words’” (Daniel 10:11b-12, ESV). The angel went on to explain to Daniel that his delay was due to a spiritual battle, but it is clear that the Lord regarded the cry of Daniel’s heart, and he sent his messenger to minister to Daniel’s crucial need.
Psalm 121 speaks about God’s care and how he continues to watch over us. “I lift up my eyes to the hills, From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore” (Psalm 121:1-8, ESV).
Those are such words of comfort and peace for God’s people! Rest assured that God is watching over you in all the situations you face. The storms of life, as biting as they may be, never catch him off guard. He is there with the answers to “uphold you with his righteous right hand” always. (from Isaiah 41:10, ESV).
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