I’ve been blinded, both in the dark and in the light, recently.
First, I decided to take the back road home after enjoying a day at my daughter’s house. I’d lingered longer than normal, and left later than I usually do. I contemplated driving the hour-and-a-half trip on the freeway since I wouldn’t be able to see the scenery anyway, but I decided to stick with the country route. It was more direct, and I wouldn’t have to deal with the spray from semi-trucks in the heavy rain.
I was enjoying a some quiet music when, about fifteen minutes from home, my windshield wipers suddenly quit working. They just stopped, like a toddler who clenches his teeth and refuses to move. I hammered at the switch a couple times. The only response was a low growl, again not unlike a toddler.
I rolled the window down, hoping I could reach out with my left hand and give one wiper an encouraging push, but I couldn’t reach it. Everything was distorted through the rain on the window. It was like driving in the dark without my glasses; I was basically blind. Every time a car came from the other direction, the light shone into the water on the windshield and made it almost impossible to see.
Little Pip shuffled and whined nervously in his kennel in the back seat. He must have sensed my anxiety (or heard my heart pounding against my chest). I finally turned my hazard lights on and inched my way down the road, too blind to pull onto the shoulder and too blind to keep going. But I did keep going. I drove for another four miles, until I finally reached a town, prayed that I was actually driving into a parking lot instead of over a curb, came to stop, called my husband, and collapsed.
I had plenty of time to think (and thank God) while I waited to be rescued. I thought about the times in life when I’ve tried to see and push ahead on my own instead of relying on the Holy Spirit. With my dog still trembling in my arms, I sat back and let my husband take me home, while I continued to contemplate the times I’ve panicked in confusion instead of allowing God to help me see clearly with the guidance of His Word — as He wipes aside the distractions, the foolishness, the fear, the pride that blind and immobilize me, and allows me to more clearly see His glory and power.
I guess God really wanted to get the point across, because just a few days later, I again found myself blinded behind the wheel. This time the sunlight made it impossible to see. It was a cold morning, but there had only been a bit of frost on the windshield. It was low on the window. It wouldn’t keep me from seeing, at least not until I headed up a hill, straight into the early morning sunrise and straight toward some construction work that blocked a portion of the road.
The driver behind me must have wondered about the lady driving the dirty mini-van ahead of him. I could dimly make out the frantic movement of a flagman desperately waving in front of the hundreds of illuminated crystals on my window. He too must have wondered about me, but I couldn’t explain because the passenger window wouldn’t open.
I squinted and again inched my way forward, my view obscured by the frost I had failed to scrape away before driving into the dazzling light of the sun. Here I was again, unable to see because of what was between me and the light. At night it had been the rain between me and the oncoming headlights. In the morning, it was the frost, breaking up the light that hit my windshield.
Windshield wipers are a blessing – a blessing I have always taken for granted until I suddenly had to manage without them. Ice scrapers are a blessing, too, but they don’t do any good if I don’t get out of my car, stand in the cold, and use them. How often do I take God’s always-available Word for granted? How often do I neglect to avail myself of His grace, failing to look into His Word (that, unlike windshield wipers, never fails), and refusing to humble myself and allow Him to remove the sin and selfishness that hold me back and distort my vision? How often do I fail to claim His promises and instead, let my fear or my discouragement alter my view of the glorious God who loves me and gave His Son to die for me?
Father, thank you for wanting to show me Yourself. Thank you for already dealing with my sin. Thank you for loving me more than I love myself. Thank you for never leaving me. Help me be willing, with the Holy Spirit’s help, to trust you and move forward in your light.