When I opened my eyes this morning, I looked up from the pillow through the windows that are our headboard and saw big, feather-like snowflakes drifting toward me. I felt like a kid lying in a snow drift with my tongue out, waiting for the flakes to land in my mouth. While I’d been sleeping, nature had put on her winter coat.
By mid-morning Jack was eager for his walk. I was excited to see how the storm had beautified the beach, so we decided to take the car and do our walking along the shore, once we got there.
Although there were only two inches of snow on the roads, it was slippery, and I ran into trouble. Most of the four blocks are uphill as we “climb” the dunes. I drove over the creek bridge and started up the 45 degree angle when the van started to slip. I tried to turn into the skid as they taught us in driver’s ed, but the car had its own plan.
It began slowly swiveling around on the hill until it was crossways on the road. A gentle braking wouldn’t stop it, and the gas pedal only spun the wheels. I sat holding the steering wheel, not sure what to do, when the van began sliding down the hill sideways as if it was a happy child on a snow saucer. I pictured myself going over the edge of the road right into the creek I’d just crossed, about a ten foot drop. How would I explain this to my insurance man?
Jack was seated like an old guy in the back seat, and I began asking him what to do. “Should I turn the wheel? Straighten it? Jump out?” I wasn’t sure, but I opened the door, just in case. As we headed for the creek, suddenly my rear wheels hit a pile of leaves under the snow and grabbed hold, jerking the car to a stop.
After pausing to think, I decided to back up further into the leaves, turn the tires down hill and gun it. The van spun into front-forward position and slipped back to level ground on the creek bridge. We made it home safely and started again for the beach, this time on foot. God had prepared a surprise for me.
When we got to that same incline, I studied my tire tracks. Under the innocent-looking snow was a layer of ice. Even my moon-boots slipped hopelessly once we started climbing, and I had to use the leaves at the edge for traction. Lucky Jack, he had claws.
As we continued to climb, I came to the second incline where the edge of the road drops off immediately and plunges over a cliff several stories down. My heart started pounding when I realized if my van had made it up the first incline, I’d have moved to the second one, the drop-off section of road where it was much icier. Had the van begun to slip there, I’d have gone backwards over the cliff for sure. I might have been able to jump out just before the car went over, but Jack would have gone with the car, which would have tumbled end over end and been totaled.
Jack and I walked to the edge of the cliff and looked down, recognizing God’s protective care by having me slip badly on the first incline, forcing us to take the car home. He’d saved us from driving to the second incline, preventing a serious mishap with possibly severe injuries and a ruined car. And my furry friend could easily have been lost.
By the time Jack and I got to the beach, I had goose bumps, partly from the cold, but mostly because of the realization God had literally saved me from disaster. Once again, he’d been the loving, take-action husband for me, just as he promised.
“I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!’ For he will give his angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.” (Psalm 91:2,11)