“Oh it looks FINE! We can do this, no problem,” I said confidently.
My husband disagreed.
My son, driving, didn’t know who to listen to.
“Honey, I can see down the hill. It’s totally fine. We’ve got this,” I said as I stood up in the back seat of the jeep.
A fun, adventurous Saturday afternoon of ‘off-roading’ in our jeep quickly turned into a dangerous situation because of my limited perspective…that I was convinced was unhindered and unlimited. It was an innocent mistake. But before we knew it, we were in a difficult predicament surrounded by obstacles. Deep trenches, 4-5 ft rock drop offs and an embankment hiding under grass and weeds. We couldn’t turn around. We couldn’t go forward. Our only option was to back up the steep hill the same way we came down, trying to carefully maneuver our way over the deep trenches. Backwards.
I decided my son and I needed to get out and try to help navigate as my husband tried to get us out of this mess. But before I knew it, the jeep began sliding down the hidden embankment and the back right tire was off the ground. My husband carefully (and quickly) climbed out the passenger door. Whew. He was safe, thankfully.
But there my jeep was, stuck and somewhat dangling over a 10+ foot embankment.
I’ll spare you all the details. But it took us 6 hours, 2 tremendously brave men, a tractor, a truck with a wench, hundreds of feet of chain, complete with an audience watching the whole thing unfold.
I’ll be honest. We thought the jeep was a goner. But more importantly, I was scared to death that these men’s lives were in danger. As I stood a safe distance away, I was crying out to God for His protection of these good men. All I could think about was this fun Saturday turning into a life-altering tragic event. To say it was stressful is a gross understatement.
We couldn’t believe our eyes when we finally saw our jeep being pulled up the hill to safety.
As I have had some time to process and let my blood pressure return to normal, I look back and try to soak in what this taught me…
- My perspective can be skewed. Wrong. (We forget this, don’t we?)
- It not only affects me, but others as well.
- We can’t do life without the help of others. Others who are willing to get dirty with us. Offering their resources, their time and their comfort. To climb into the trenches of life and not judge us for how we got there.
- Stick together in a stressful crisis. Don’t waste time blaming. (Our 17 y/o had to remind us of this in the heat of the moment! Told you we are still learning, son!)
- And when things look difficult–even impossible–cry out to God. Literally. Out loud, if necessary. It doesn’t matter who’s watching. Cry out to the only One who can miraculously work in spite of our skewed perspective, wrong decisions, limited resources, and seemingly impossible situations. He, alone, has the unlimited perspective, resources, and wisdom to change an outcome.
I’m so thankful that He loves us enough to work in us and through us, in spite of ourselves. That He is always willing to join us in our self-imposed predicaments. And that we can call on Him anywhere at anytime and He hears us. I’m learning that trusting Him doesn’t eliminate the hard and messy, but instead, gives us opportunities to cry out to Him and trust Him in the midst of it! In some ways, it’s the only way our spiritual muscles can be strengthened.
Isaiah 40:28-31 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary,and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!