It was a Friday evening when Frank got a call that meant he'd have to drive down to the city instead of going home as he'd planned. It was bitterly cold and a blizzard had engulfed our area, but he set off down the highway, with the wind whipping the car and the snow coming down hypnotically, heavily, and relentlessly.
He was already tense, and straining to see the road ahead, when one of the lenses suddenly popped out of his glasses, causing his vision to be out of focus.
Heart in his mouth, he pulled over to the side of the highway and stopped. He tried to feel for the lens, hoping to pop it back into the frame temporarily. It had to be there, he thought, but he couldn't find it.
Thinking that it might be on the floor, he pushed open the door against the wind that was pushing back, and got out, so that he could look under the seat. His coat was in the back of the car, but now he was out without it, in the numbing, bitter, freezing cold wind, and the car was shaking with every car that zoomed by as he groped around looking for a lens that had vanished into thin air.
Frank had to give up and get back into the car. He improvised an eye patch by grabbing a wad of tissues and sticking them into the empty hole in one side of the frame. By this time in the story,the mental image was too much. When Frank told me this story, I went from rapt attention to imagining what would have happened if he had been pulled over by the police. I collapsed into laughter.
I shared my own recent highway horror story that occurred after my friend Irene and I had traveled together to an all day meeting. At the end of the day she dropped me off where I had left my car at a car pool. I was tired, it was late and already dark, and again, a bitterly cold night.
All I could think of was getting home as fast as possible, so I got into my little plum Honda Civic, started it, and pulled out of the car pool, onto the road and then the onto highway 400, the major 6 lane highway going north. I was already on the highway before I realized that my windows weren't clearing, but freezing over. The air inside the car was not yet warm enough to clear them. In my impatience I had put myself in a situation where I was driving almost blind on a busy highway.
Adrenalin coursed through every nerve as I prayed desperately, "Jesus, Jesus! Help me!" I couldn't believe this was happening and that I had been so foolish. I couldn't even see the side of the highway in order to pull over. My windshield wipers were on full speed, but against the extreme cold they had no effect. I pumped some window wash fluid onto to the windshield and this time it cleared a small enough hole for me to just about see the side of the road.
Trembling, I pulled over, out of the stream of cars flying by, and thanked God for getting me off the highway in one piece. I waited while the car warmed, and until I was over those moments of terror. I was grateful to be alive.
Then Frank talked about a big decision to be made. He said he wasn't rushing to make it, but praying it through.
"Keep doing what you're doing until God shows the next step. At least that's how I have lived my life," I said, "God is able to make it clear when the time is right for the next step."
God is there for us on highways in blinding storms and in the storms of life.
He never fails. He shows us the way.