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Home for the Holidays

by | Dec 7, 2019 | Family, Trials

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.” (Ps. 121 ESV)

It was the middle of December several years ago. I had some old Christmas records playing. A light snow was falling outside but I didn’t mind. I was getting ready to head to my daughter’s college to bring her home for the holidays.

The weather forecast had only called for light flurries and I was an experienced driver in snow so I wasn’t worried as me and my two sons put on our coats and walked down to the car. As we got out on the road, however, I realized that the weather forecast had been wrong. The “lightflurries” had turned into heavy snow squalls falling fast and covering the roads. The snow plows were rapidly falling behind, and I knew at once that it wasn’t going to be an easy drive.

It was a 3 hour round trip to my daughter’s college, but I knew it was going to be a lot longer today as I slowed my car to match the slickness of the roads. The narrow mountain road I usually took as a short cut hadn’t been plowed at all so I stayed on the main roadways knowing it would add another hour to my trip. Once I was on the interstate, though, conditions only worsened. I slowed down further but four wheel drive trucks sped past me throwing huge showers of slush onto my windshield. I slowed my breathing and tried not to grip the steering wheel too hard.

During the last 20 miles the road switched back to two lanes and I suddenly found myself behind a very inexperienced winter driver. Instead of driving slow and adjusting when he hit a slick spot he was braking hard and swerving all over the road. I braked hard myself to keep from hitting him and slid off the asphalt into a ditch.

I tried pulling out again and again but could only hear spinning tires. I was half-way out in the road and a truck zoomed by us missing the car by inches. I looked at my two sons with my heart pounding in my chest and prayed: “God, I really need your help right now!” I tried to pull out again and miraculously the car stared to move. It felt as if it was almost being pushed out of the ditch. I pulled back on the road and said: “Thank you God!”

By the time I reached the college the sun was out and the plows were beginning to get the roads clear again. I picked up my daughter and slowly headed home. When we arrived the dogs greeted us happily at the door and I could see the Christmas tree lights blinking brightly. It felt so good to be safe and home again. I could feel God’s love all around me and within me as well.

In his book, “The Story of the Other Wise Man”, author Henry Van Dyke wrote: “He who walks in love may wander far, yet God will bring him where the blessed are.” Wherever you go then, and however dangerous your journeys may be always remember that you are watched over by God with a love more powerful and more beautiful than you can ever imagine.

Joseph J. Mazzella

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