Life and other catastrophes · Relating to God · Spiritual growth and healing

Angel in the rain-drenched car park

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.

* Image courtesy of pendown.wordpress.com

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.

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23 thoughts on “Angel in the rain-drenched car park

  1. A long time ago, I had a hard time accepting help for I had grown up very independent and capable due to my dad’s drinking. S L O W L Y I realized I did not need to go it alone, that I actually was hurting God as He tried to provide and protect, especially with the help of those with flesh on! And it was in the opening up of my hand and letting go that I learned to relax my grip on my life and let God be God and just receive the good gifts He wanted to give…thanks for sharing your heart, Ali. God bless you…

    1. Thanks Sheila… “Let God be God and just receive…” Yes 🙂 I like what you’ve just said, so much… Thanks for helping me reflect further…
      So glad that He’s taken you on the journey from complete independence to a healthy dependence. May we all learn to receive in such a way, as we were meant to all along.
      Blessings to you and Michael today,
      Ali

    2. Wow! That is my story, too.
      Being dependent was not a good thing for me either.
      It’s been a really long road trying to learn accepting help is not only okay, it’s good.
      Thanks for putting that into words I can relate to!

      1. Hi Denise – I like that: “not only okay, but good”. Yes I still struggle with the fact that God can meet my needs through people in a healthy way. Praying we’d all be able to rest in His will for us as He gently “bends” our stubbornness towards Him and His heart 🙂

  2. Loved this, that you prayed for God to help you in an overwhelming situation. But how often I wonder, when we pray do we fail to recognize the angels God sends us. Loved your words that “handing it all over to Him opens the floodgate to greater blessing, bigger joy and wonderful promises.” So very true! Thanks Ali. I enjoyed this so very much!
    Joy

    1. Thank you Joy! Yes he so often answers our prayers through people doesn’t He.
      I heard a sermon recently entitled ‘His method is a man’, explaining God’s use of people to accomplish His purposes, the most obvious of all being Jesus. I wonder how I would’ve responded to Him when He walked the earth offering the help and healing that He did?
      Blessings to you and thanks again,
      Ali

  3. Oh this was wonderful! I so related to “how do I pace, stress, with the kind stranger standing there, intent on helping”. It’s difficult for me to accept help, too–I grew up with the teaching that I should be able to do everything myself, and competently! God bless you and your family–love, sis Caddo

    1. Thank you Caddo! It’s hard to relax into the help and assistance of others isn’t it. Can be quite humbling. May we all acknowledge the many ways God might serve us and show us His heart… Love and blessings,
      Ali

  4. Oh Ali, as you described looking for the car . . .that could’ve been me. I felt the panic rise in me, just reading. I find that accepting help from strangers isn’t always as hard for me as accepting from some that I know . .. that attach strings to their help . .. and make me want to figure out a way to do things all on my own. That too, needs me to take it to God, and stay humble and thankful, no matter what.
    God bless you and how you lead us to Him, always!

    1. Yes it is a bit different isn’t it… but as you say, all these reactions need to be taken to Him. He seems to have many methods of loving us, up His wonderful sleeve 🙂 May He bless you as you walk in His ways today xx Thanks again Debbie.

    2. Thank you for reading Debbie, and yes it’s a bit of a hard thing isn’t it, accepting help from strangers! Doesn’t come naturally. Amazing how He gives us practice at receiving help from Him though, in many different ways.
      God bless you and your beautiful heart today xx

  5. This has happened to me, too (minus the kind strangers with an umbrella, though.) It is a frightening experience. I can relate to the inclination to do it myself and to decline help. (That goes for God, too.) It’s still not my first reaction to turn it over to God. I’m getting better, but still have control freak tendencies. Thanks for sharing your story – it’s a great reminder of something I need to pay some attention to.

    1. Yes 🙂 I like that God gives us the chance to practice sometimes, in terms of learning to accept help.
      No worries, and thanks for stopping by to read it.
      Have a great weekend!
      Ali

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