I’d enjoyed a night worshipping God at a women’s church event, and heard a stirring message about His love for me and the rest of the world.
I’d come alone, and had a pleasant time browsing afterwards at the book-shop before heading outside to my car. But I was met by a sudden downpour. The rain was torrential, and I hadn’t brought an umbrella.
The black concrete outside was glassy and shimmering, reflecting the lamp-light. I decided to simply rush through the sheets of water and jump in my car as quickly as possible. But it wasn’t to be. I moved to the location I thought my Toyota was parked – but alas! I retraced my steps again, and again… back and forth… before completely convincing myself it had been stolen. I didn’t care about being drenched – which I most definitely was at this point. I just wanted my car. “Help me, God!” I whispered.
The clock was ticking, I was pacing, and the car park was emptying. I looked up, and a couple of young guys from the church appeared. Both had umbrellas. “Are you OK?” one said to me. “I’ve lost my car!” I said, trying not to sound as frantic as I felt. He chuckled, and remarked to his friend, who was escorting another rain-sodden woman to her car: “Another one!”
“Other people have lost their cars too?”
“Yeah – it’s really hard to see when it’s like this.” And with that, he stood beside me with the umbrella and said: “We’ll find it.”
I should’ve been glad for the help, but I felt slowed down. How was I going to pace frantically with this kind stranger next to me? How was I going to stress out and shake my fist at the injustice of it all! He slowly moved with me as I mumbled my explanations for how lost I was. “I swear it was in this section…”
He suggested I try pressing the automatic un-lock button to see if the lights of my car would draw me to its location.
We trudged along, and I didn’t feel that him being there was making it any easier. I stopped and said, “Look, I’ll be OK – it’s got to be somewhere here. I’ll be fine!”
“It’s OK – really!” he said. He just wanted to help – to serve.
So I prayed in my head, and hoped he was doing the same. And soon enough, after pressing the unlock button in each and every row… there it was, my ticket home, lighting up.
“I thought I’d never find it!” I said.
And he walked me right up to my car, wished me well – and left.
I shifted my rain-soaked self onto the warm seat and realized how awkward the whole experience had just been. Because no matter how I might convince myself otherwise, accepting help – especially from strangers – is massively uncomfortable for me.
My determination to prove myself, my independence – my autonomy – became very noticeable to me… Yes, there needs to be an element of ‘suspicion’ before we trust another. But why did every part of me want to run from such a simple act of kindness? Why the tendency to always try and work things out on my own?
I think every single one of us wrestles with such internal struggles when it comes to God. We want to take the wheel ourselves because it seems right, and feels safer. But there’s a God who can take it for us, leading the way, while at the same time allowing us to be an essential part of the journey. Handing the reins over to God isn’t about deferring all our choices to an almighty deity in the sky. It’s about inviting a Saviour who cares deeply about all the details of our lives to own our lives, which actually translates to a freedom unspeakable. Handing it all over to Him opens the floodgates to greater blessing, bigger joy, and more wonderful promises. It’s a better way of living and provides the deepest, most satisfying relationship we could ever know. As part of this amazing, purpose-driven life, we are hidden in the arms of a heavenly Father who loves us more than an earthly one ever could.
So much so that He sent His son to earth to prove it.
And yeah… he’s also been sending his angels into chaotic, desperate, rain-drenched nights ever since.