Last weekend, I went to a gathering in a place that was new to me. I was told that GPS wouldn’t work after a certain point, and was given a sheet of directions to follow after I got off the main road. The directions seemed simple enough, but I found them confusing. Driving in the mountains, my phone hadn’t had service for the last hour or so. I was on my own, with a confusing sheet of paper.
After I turned around a few times, I got onto a winding, steep, narrow, gravel mountain road. It was so narrow, I hoped I wouldn’t meet anyone coming the opposite way. One place was so steep, I was afraid I would spin out. I was glad it wasn’t dark. Then the road opened up to a crossroad that led to a correctional facility, and I knew that wasn’t in the script.
I was whimpering and panicking. Where do I go now? I can’t do this. I hate being alone and lost. Why do I think I can travel alone anywhere? Whimper, whimper. Blood pressure sky high.
The sheet of directions had a phone number, and the phone had service at that moment. Thank you, Jesus. I called the number and said in a rush that I’m lost and need directions and can you help me, please? The man asked who I was and asked me to repeat my question. He was calm, spoke clearly, and asked clarifying questions. I don’t know who he was, but I’m pretty sure his voice was like Jesus.
Yes, I know exactly where you are now.
I know the point where you turned off wrong.
When you get to that next road, be careful because it’s gravel and curvy and they just graded it.
I asked him several times about the directions on the sheet that were confusing me, and apologized for making him repeat himself, but he told me to start driving while I was on the phone, took all the time I needed, and explained the landmarks carefully.
Twenty minutes later, I was at my destination, and fell into my friends’ hugs, and had a most wonderful weekend. Two days later, I felt newly-made and refreshed beyond words.
As I drove home, I Voxed a friend about the good weekend, the traumatic time in getting there, and my ensuing questions. Why did I panic? God took care of me. I was never actually alone. Had it been a lesson to teach me the futility of panicking?
No, she said. I shouldn’t kick myself for that, or think I must never panic again. That emotion is an arrow to direct me to God. If I don’t know the depth of my need, I don’t know how able He is to meet my need, and I stay self-sufficient.
I know she’s right. When I feel panicked and alone, I can use that desperation to run to Him. He never scolds me for needing Him.
I hope I’ll remember in the darkness what I learned in the light that day: I’m never really and truly alone even if it feels like it.
Also, if I’m ever giving directions to a frantic girl on the phone, I might never know that I’m speaking Jesus’ words to her.