In the Midst of the Storm
The rain began to come down in sheets, blasting against the windshield as Jen made her way along the winding mountain roads. Even though the wipers were going as fast as they could, her visibility was practically non-existent. She struggled with the steering wheel in an effort to keep the car on her side of the road as the wind continued its constant battering.
The call had come in an hour ago that her father had taken a turn for the worse and that she needed to get to the hospital as soon as possible. The doctors said he didn’t have much time left and Jen was determined to see him. Even though travel was perilous, she vowed to herself that no amount of rain was going to keep her from it.
The further she went on the mountain road, the more her radio station began to play out. Normally, she wouldn’t even have the radio on, but she was hoping to stay on top of the weather. Annoying static quickly replaced the encouraging sounds of Q93 and Jen reluctantly took one hand from the wheel to hit the tuning button.
Missing the button on the first try, Jen took her eyes off the road for a split second to try again. That split second turned out to be a moment too long. As she focused on the radio controls, the blast of a horn caused her blood to run cold. Quickly turning her attention back to the road, a new terror flooded over her as she realized she was heading straight for an oncoming big rig. She jerked the wheel just in time to miss the truck, but the action caused her car to hydroplane.
Time seemed to move in slow motion as the car made its way back and forth across the road, twisting and turning as it went. The sound of tires squealing against the pavement below her seemed to grow in intensity with each passing second. No matter what she did in an attempt to regain control, it seemed only to make matters worse.
A loud pop erupted beneath her car as one of her tires blew, sending sparks spraying out behind her, lighting up the dark dreary night. Thankfully, the blown tire caused the car to slow its tossing and turning, giving her back control and she was finally able to make it safely to the side of the road.
Jen’s heart pounded so hard, she felt sure her ribs would break from the battering they were taking. She sat with numb fingers clutching the steering wheel and attempted to calm herself with long deep breaths. Her body began to shake and tears filled her eyes only to spill over and make their way down her cheeks. She allowed herself some time in prayer, to thank God for watching over her, before stepping out into the torrential downpour to begin the task of changing her tire.
She had changed a tire before, so she knew she could do it again, but the overwhelming need to be at her father’s side left her feeling utterly inept. Jen opened the trunk to remove the tire and tools and fresh tears began to mix with the rain on her face. Taking a deep breath, she forced back the tears and set her mind to the task.
As she worked on the tire, the radio station began to clear. Song after song proclaiming God’s love and strength, poured through the speakers. Their melodies lifted above the sound of the pouring rain and clinking metal of her tools and made it straight to her heart, filling her with heavenly peace.
There was no doubt in Jen’s mind that the Lord was with her, helping her through every second of this horrendous night. She could almost feel His hands guiding hers as she worked on the tire, giving them the strength they needed to complete their work. His words of comfort filled her spirit with calmness and hope and before she knew it, she was finished with the job and back on the road.
“Lord, you never cease to amaze me! Thank you for helping me tonight. No matter what I find when I get to the hospital . . . I thank you.”
Stepping from the elevator, she began her long walk down the sterile, white corridor to her father’s room. Family members lingered in the hall, their tear-stained faces causing Jen to fear the worst. Panic began to rise within her once again and she hesitated at the door, suddenly too afraid to take another step.
“My child, have I not already shown you tonight that I am here with you?”
The calming words, spoken to her heart by her Lord, renewed her courage and she gently pushed open the door.
“Oh good . . . you . . . made it.” Her father managed to say as he struggled for each breath.
“Oh, Daddy!” Jen exclaimed as she rushed into her father’s embrace.
As tears of joy and sorrow streamed down Jen’s face, she held on to her father for as long as she possibly could. She could tell he fought for each breath he took, as he tried to hang on a little longer. As the minutes ticked by, the sweet spirit that comforted her on the side of the road, found its way into that tiny hospital room. It settled over her and her father like a warm blanket, wrapping them in a comfort she had never known before.
As the warmth of the Holy Spirit filled her soul, she could feel the erratic breaths of her father begin to even out. Slow and steady the breaths came until they were so faint, Jen wasn’t sure they were even there anymore. Fresh tears begin to fill her eyes as her father’s arms slipped from around her. She knew he was gone.
“Goodbye, Daddy. I will see you later.” She whispered.
Gently, Jen lifted her head and kissed him on the cheek, before slowly making her way to the door. As she grasped the handle, she looked back at her father and marveled at the peace on his weathered face. She silently thanked God for helping her survive the storm that fought to keep her from his side. She thanked him for the reassurance that no matter what obstacles she may face in life that He will always be there for her. Most of all, she thanked him for blessing her with getting to feel the strength in her father’s embrace one last time.