"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sometimes With Humor

“God has a sense of humor,” our guest laughingly proclaimed as he finished telling us his story.  We had company for dinner last night, and when we were done eating, we sat around the table enjoying the conversation for just a bit longer.

“Mom, tell them the story about the blizzard you were in,” my son encouraged with a twinkle in his eyes.

At the blank look on my face, he explained further, “You know; the one with your friend when you were traveling to Seattle…”

Now I knew why he wanted me to tell this story; it was a lesson I taught him when he was young, that yes, we do, indeed, serve a God that has a sense of humor, but it is really all about trust.

This story took place many years ago when I was a young woman in my twenties or so.  A girlfriend and I were making a trip to the Seattle area. She and I both lived there for a time, and we could have been making our way back to that area after we had made a visit “home”. I don’t really recall.  But I do remember this friend.  She and I could spend hours in conversation over coffee and cheesecake talking about the Bible, philosophies and politics; and also simply sharing our lives with one another. She was, and still is one of my very best friends.

It was the middle of winter and it had gotten very dark outside long before we arrived at our destination.  A little over half-way there - well, probably a lot more than half-way there – it began snowing.  The roads were getting more and more slippery and visibility was becoming much worse.  I was driving, and back then when I was young, I was a much more confident driver in snowy conditions than I am now.  But as it continued, it even became too much for me.

“Oh, man, Coco!  We have to pray!  Pray that God will relieve this storm for us at least until we get over the pass!”  If the storm was this bad before the high mountain pass that was coming up, I hated to think what it would be like on that pass.

She began a fervent prayer, as I kept my eyes on the road. The very second we finished our prayer, the snow stopped. And I mean stopped completely…no gradual decrease in the amount of flakes or wind, just a flat-out, extremely abrubt end of it all.  The dramatic change literally took our breath away. I could sense her shock, and feel her jump in surprise; I understood, probably because I did the same thing.  Just as quickly, however, we both burst out laughing when we realized we had just entered a train tunnel that was over the highway. No snow or wind in there!!  Though we laughed heartily, I still secretly hoped that on the other side of the tunnel, the storm would have subsided.  It had not.

That’s as much as I remember.  I don’t remember the drive over the pass or anything else that took place the rest of that trip.  This little comical experience is the only thing that stuck in my mind.  I’m sure at the time I didn’t understand why the Lord didn’t stop that storm for us, but I always did look at it like it was God’s sense of humor when our prayer ended the very second we entered the tunnel.  One thing I know; that moment of laughter calmed us and relaxed us enough to make the rest of the trip a lot more comfortably.

Now that I’m older, I understand that God didn’t have to stop that storm for us.  In fact, I firmly believe, instead:  Why would He?  He doesn’t promise to get us out of the tough stuff, only to get us through it.  Can you imagine a God that was really nothing more than a genie in a bottle; granting us this wish because we think we need it; or granting another wish, not because we need it, but just because we wanted it?  And this, for every individual that prayed every moment. Things, of course, would be chaos.  I’ll bet there were a lot of people at the nearby ski lodge that were conversely praying that they might encounter such a snow storm on this night! And no, I don’t think God granted them their prayer over mine.  We simply serve a God of order, Whom has set “laws of nature” in place for a purpose.  Sometimes He changes those laws for a reason and that is a miracle.  But always He knows what is best for us and continues to guide us through times of trouble; times of joy, and times of sorrow; times of learning; and times of grace. And every once in a while, I believe He shows us His grace through humor, as He did in this case.

For me, the bigger part of this whole story is not simply the lesson in trust that my friend and I had received that night. Rather, the greater part for me is all these years later I am able to see my son share something with others that I had shared in laughter with him. Best of all, he shared it with a twinkle in his eye and a confident understanding in his heart…therein lies the real miracle.

O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.  Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have showed thy strength unto this generation and thy power to everyone that is to come. 
   ~Psalm 71: 17 -18

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