Let me tell you about the worst car journey I’ve ever done in my life!
As you might already know, I’m Scottish, so most of my family live 500 miles away from me. It had been a while since I had seen my sister and she had some time off school so was able to come and visit me. We decided the easiest way for her to come down to Weston was for me and my mum to drive her and meet half way in Manchester. Now, I used to live in Glasgow... I’m a city girl at heart, but by this point I’d been living in Weston for over two years, so when I went on the motorway on my way to Manchester, I realised I had lost all confidence on motorways! Anyway, 3 and a half hours later, I was in Manchester. I had made it! It was the journey back home to Weston that was the problem...
Firstly, it got dark fast. And I don’t know about you, but the roads look so different to me in the dark. So that didn’t help. But the real issues started to happen when I hit the Birmingham area. I knew I wanted to be going South, but there was like 6 lanes all going to different places but they all said they were going South! Which one was I to take?!
I took a guess... It was the wrong guess! And before I knew it I was on the M6 toll and tapping my bank card on the machine in the middle of the motorway! That flustered me. I started to panic. I had no idea where I was and I was getting a bit disorientated.
In order to focus and get my bearings, I switched off the music in the car, and I dropped my speed from 70mph, to 60mph. The only problem here though was that I was so flustered I hadn’t noticed that the road had gone down to 50mph!
I was blinded by a flash that lit up the sky in the night! Great. My first speeding ticket.
It gets worse.
By now I’m crying! And then my petrol light comes on. My search for fuel began, a race against the clock! Somehow I ended up driving down a country road to a dodgy little gas station. I filled up my car, and don’t ask me how because I don’t know... but when I went to join back on the motorway, I was on the wrong side, driving back the way I just came! I drove for about half an hour in the wrong direction before I was able to turn around. I was meant to arrive in Weston with my sister at about 9pm, but it ended up being well past midnight before we got back!
The problems for me started when the sun went down.
It wasn’t until I was reflecting on what had happened a few weeks later that this verse popped into my head:
“Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night...” - Psalm 91:5
Why do things seem scarier at night? Why does everything seem so much worse in the dark?
The good thing for us as Christians is that Jesus Christ is light. He doesn’t just carry a light... He IS light. Jesus even said this himself: “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”” John 8:12. And in this dark world we as Christians have hope because He is light. But it can often be hard to remember this when we are in the darkness.
When I was on my horrible journey, I didn’t even stop to ask God for help. I didn’t reassure myself that things would be okay because I had Jesus, because I allowed the darkness to overtake me. I allowed my situation to take priority over trusting in Him. Yes, I got home eventually and Jesus was by my side the whole way, but if I had trusted Him instead of panicking and crying, my journey would have been a lot more peaceful than stressful.
Jesus is light, and light is so much stronger than darkness. It’s just so important that we remind ourselves of this in the darkness nights... in the nights where it seems that all hope is lost. The example I’ve used in this blog is just a silly car journey, but I’m well aware we go through much deeper and darker things in our lives. But if we learn now to trust Jesus even in the car journeys, we will learn to trust Him even more in the more life altering situations we find ourselves in.
I shared a tiny bit of Psalm 91 a few paragraphs above, and I just want to finish this blog by sharing a few more verses from that Psalm, because it’s so encouraging.
Psalm 91: 1 - 7: “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the LORD : He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armour and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.”
What an amazing God we have. He loves you, wants to comfort you and be by your side, through the brightest of days, but also the darkest of nights.