Last week my children and I went to visit my best friend up north. It was a quiet get-a-away; a welcomed road trip. One night after driving back from town with my friend’s daughter, I realized I had passed the road to her nestled country home. In an effort to turn around, I managed to get stuck in the light flurry of snow that had started drifting an hour earlier. My heart sank as I tried to frantically turn the vehicle in the opposite direction, only solidifying my predicament as the tire wheels spun in place.
Thoughts rushed through my mind. What is the meaning of this detour? I am stuck on a lonely road with my friend’s six year old daughter trying to stay calm when I would rather not have to figure out the problem at hand. Luckily, after numerous attempts my cell phone connected and my friend called a neighbor to come to our aid.
As my young companion and I waited for help, we tried to fill our time calmly. I asked my little friend to recite the Bible verses she was learning for her home-school lesson. She recited everything her precious heart remembered. We began to sing praise songs; calling out to God in the middle of the dark.
As I relayed the experience to my friend later that evening after our children were safely in bed, I cried out begging her to tell me if everything happens for a reason. “Why did I miss the turn tonight” I sighed? “What good was there in being lost?” And then even as I was formulating the questions and asking them out loud, I sensed an answer. Maybe tonight God spoke. Maybe tonight when I was nervous, God told me that He was coming to my rescue. Maybe when I felt like I had no other options for the evening except to sit and wait, I was learning a most invaluable lesson: nothing else matters except my complete reliance on God. Perhaps this is why I needed to sing and be comforted by God’s word recited out loud. In the end, nothing else on this earth matters except a heart totally dependant and surrendered to God. I am trying to learn that everything happens for a reason if, and only if, I am willing to look beyond myself.