Time’s running out and we’re going to miss it! We have no idea where we’re going, we’re late, and now it’s all just a waste of time!
I was fretting. Justifiably so. A once in a lifetime opportunity was about to occur and we were going to miss it.
It was thirty minutes until the last solar eclipse of the century, and my husband, daughter, and I were stuck in a traffic jam on the outskirts of Vienna, Austria. Only miles from the total eclipse zone, traffic was barely moving and I was grinding my teeth in frustration.
My husband was calm. Grrrrrr…that frustrated me even more! Our poor planning and last minute rush had landed us there on the highway amidst thousands of other procrastinators. There was no escape from the gridlock.
Couldn’t he see it was useless, that we had failed? I lamented.
No, he couldn’t. He turned to me and softly, but firmly, told me I needed to be quiet.
I gritted my teeth.
But we didn’t get the special glasses! How are we even going to watch it? I snapped back.
His calm, determined look said it all.
Trust me, he said.
I knew the conversation was over. I heaved a slightly sarcastic yeah-whatever sigh.
Okay, but I don’t have faith for this one—but if you have faith for it, then I’ll just have to trust in your faith.
A few moments later cars began to creep forward. I hurriedly retrieved the cast aside map. If we got off at the next exit we would be just inside the line of the total eclipse zone. In about five minutes our car veered smoothly onto the exit ramp…and into the middle of nowhere.
Oh great. Where do we go now? I continued to fret.
My husband told me he was going to drive by “feel.”
That did nothing to boost my confidence.
Especially when he picked a road that took us on a journey winding through a small rural village on a hillside. Then suddenly we were in a forest and the road narrowed and became dirt. I was sure we were hopelessly lost…and the sky was darkening already. (Oh me of little faith.)
Abruptly, the trees gave way to an open hillside and a vast valley stretched out before our eyes. To our right a small turnoff appeared in which to park. And there was even a bench to sit on! We leaped out of the car and stared in disbelief. We had a perfect view of the sky and landscape from southeast to west for over thirty miles in each direction!
Then I saw it. A small white piece of paper jutting out from under a rock just to the left of the front tire. My stomach jumped and my heart started racing as I leaned over to pick it up. As I raised the note something fell out and fluttered to the ground. A pair of eclipse viewing glasses!
Unbelievable was all I could think. Absolutely, astoundingly unbelievable. Someone had left a pair of eclipse glasses under a rock in the middle of nowhere! At the exact spot where my husband was led to stop.
After a few seconds of jaw-dropping astonishment, the three of us started crying and dancing around praising God. It was a miracle! And a blessing we didn’t deserve. After all, we had done everything wrong! We had not planned, we had not prepared, and I had not had any faith—only fret!
But my husband had kept his faith. Instead of fretting over our failures he had surrendered them and let God lead him by “feel” to the exact place God had prepared to bless us.
Tears still well up in my eyes when I think about it. Because God blessed me even though I had no faith to believe He could. He led us, even though we had no idea where we were headed. He gave us a gift of His grace even though we had done nothing to deserve it.
Just like He does every day of my life. At times I am so faithless. At times I do everything wrong. I fret, I get frustrated, I feel lost, I feel alone and I feel abandoned. All too often I feel blind and in the dark about where I should go or what I should do.
Then I remember: the road, the valley, the glasses, the eclipse…and the glimpse of heaven on earth I received that day…and God whispers in my ear once again: Trust in Me.
I’m always going to be the blind one. And that’s okay. Because God turns the darkness of my fret-filled blindness into light, and the narrow rough roads of life into spacious beautiful plains.
Are you on a journey filled with more fret than faith right now? You may be searching for a job, a place to live, a church, a husband, a ministry calling, or a healing. Or perhaps you seek some light at the end of a dark tunnel of trials. May God’s promise bless you with your own pair of faith colored glasses:
I will lead the blind on roads they have never known; I will guide them on paths they have never traveled. Their road is dark and rough, but I will give light to keep them from stumbling. This is my solemn promise. -Isaiah 42:16 (Contemporary English Translation)
Linda blogs about her fretting and God’s glory at Sunny Side Up