Have you ever had to drive on ice before? I grew up in North Carolina and we could almost always count on an ice storm once or twice a year. Just before my 16th birthday a huge ice storm hit my hometown. My father knew I was about to be a licensed driver and he knew I would encounter ice on the road at some point and time. Much to my mother’s dismay, Daddy took me out on the ice in his brand new car. First he took me to parking lots to show me what would happen if you stopped suddenly on the ice.
After we practiced a bit, we went out on the road. It was really frightening when the car would begin slipping and sliding in all directions. I felt totally out of control and wanted to panic; however, my daddy’s calm voice directed me and I did as I was told and remained safe.
This past weekend was a wintery mix of snow and ice in Marietta. I had a retreat north of the city and had to go. I was the opening speaker. Friday night wasn’t too bad. I traveled slow and steady and had a friend in the car with me. We had not made plans to stay overnight so we traveled back home that evening.
The next morning I traveled back down the icy roads to the retreat center. I drove “slow and steady” on my way back. I noticed wrecked cars all along the way. Some were just in ditches and some had actually been involved in crashes with other vehicles. I kept pressing on “slow and steady” talking with the Lord the whole way. I kept claiming Psalm 121:8, “The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forever more.”
I was almost there. I only had one road left to maneuver before I arrived at my destination. I made the final turn on the road praising God for His faithfulness. I was still driving “slow and steady” when I came to the base of a steep hill that was covered in a solid sheet of ice. I took a deep breath and continued moving “slow and steady” up the hill when the van in front of me began fish tailing. He couldn’t get traction and he looked like he was about to start spinning in circles or slip off the steep hill into a deep ditch on the side of the road. I knew I needed to keep my distance from him or he would take me with him.
I brought my car to a complete stop. What was I going to do? I knew the worst place to try and take off from was on ice. My heart started racing and fear was knocking on my door. I sat there thinking “are you a hypocrite? You just taught last night about not having fear and telling the enemy to talk to the hand.” I told the Lord He would have to get me over that hill because I couldn’t do it. I heard Him tell me, “Shift into low gear.”
I put the car in low gear, glanced at the van still fish tailing up the hill, and began to move “slow and steady” up the hill. My car started to slide and I said “No!” out loud and then took a deep breath and the Lord said, “Slow and steady, Susan, slow and steady.”
I continued up the hill until I reached the top of it and could see no cars coming the opposite direction. I moved into the left hand lane and drove past the fish tailing van, who was still having trouble, and made my way down into a valley and turned into the driveway of the Land. God had faithfully carried me to my destination as long as I kept my focus on Him, listened to His voice and moved “slow and steady” along the way.
What is the Lord telling you today? If you listen to Him, He will always keep you safe.