About a week ago, I asked a room full of parents how they would describe what it feels like to be overwhelmed. One parent mentioned that it feels like your wheels are spinning. I nodded and assured her I understood. With all my years living in the desert—I’ve gotten vehicles stuck in soft sand more than once.
The parent clarified that she was NOT talking about sand, but snow. I was—after all—in Minnesota. Apparently, sand and snow both provide the opportunity to feel out of control and unable to gain traction.
The very workshop where we were discussing overwhelm was interrupted by an announcement that the snow outside (in April, mind you) was now beyond what the snow plows could keep up with. The main interstate was closed. My team and I would need to change our travel plans and stay another night.
While this experience is one those in the North are used to coping with, I was miles from my comfort zone. Living in California, Arizona, and South Carolina did nothing to prepare me to drive in snow.
The reality that I would have to drive—for the first time ever—in serious snow would have been more frightening if not for the fact that God had already provided what I needed. My rental car was the largest most tank-like vehicle I have ever driven. It even had a button to push when driving in snow. I never knew such buttons existed. God knew.
My large rental SUV was clear evidence to me of God’s grace. Grace is a word I lived for years without really understanding. I recently had a friend describe grace as another word for help. That made a lot of sense to me.
That snow-capable SUV was help God provided me to accomplish the work He wanted me to do in Minnesota. It makes sense that, as my loving Father, He would give me a set of wheels that could handle the weather conditions He put me in.
As I pondered His snow grace, I got thinking how great it would be if He would also provide spending grace in the form of a huge infusion of cash in my checking account. As soon as the thought came, I had to smile. God, being all wise, knows that limited finances keep me looking to Him and learning to deny myself. That’s exactly the help I need right now.
Grace doesn’t make things easy because easy is not generally helpful. If a rancher “helped” an unhatched chick by cracking open the egg, the baby bird would not gain the strength it needs from the struggle. The struggle gives the strength needed to handle what’s next.
Thinking on this reminded me of a verse from the hymn Children of the Heavenly Father. The original words are a bit archaic. In modern language it would read,
Though He gives or He takes
God—His children—never forsakes.
His loving purpose is only
To preserve us, pure and holy.
Because His purpose is loving we can come boldly to God’s throne of grace to “find grace to help us when we need it most” (Hebrews 4:16).
Where do you need His help the most today? What help is He providing?