Blizzard Conditions

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Have you ever driven in a blizzard?  I was driving in a blizzard recently on my way to a wedding, of all things.  This drive took me down scary highway and frightening roads, including ten miles of either going up a steep hill or going down one.  The visibility was awful, and my wipers kept collecting slush and ice so they didn’t clear the quickly accumulating snow well at all.  I pulled off at a coffee shop, whose parking lot was not yet plowed, and wondered if I would get stuck.  The wedding was in the woods up the mountains, and while it was a late start, it was beautiful, full of God’s people with the presence of the Spirit of God in the midst of that place, snow and all.  A union of a man and a woman still took place.  I was the pianist and singer, and nothing was going to keep me from being there.  Playing that baby grand piano in that sweet little chapel for two hours while waiting for guests to arrive was so serene.  I’ve been at weddings that had bad weather, including one with winds so harsh the window to the reception hall broke.  But this one was one of my favorite weddings, even though the fear of having to drive home back up and down those ten miles of steep hills lay before me, as it was still snowing.
Have you been in any storms in your life that seemed to have peace in the midst of them?  Did you feel like you didn’t even understand why, but there was no where else you’d rather be?  You felt courage, which is not the absence of fear but rather the strength to endure while you face those fears.  The Spirit of God could be palpated He was so close, and your heart was filled with joy.  Others around you might not understand, and even think you are crazy for standing strong in that situation, but wild horses couldn’t keep you away.  Missionaries often feel this way when on the field, bringing their sweet, precious families into the midst of the unknown and even known dangers.  Family members may question the validity of their call.  But while they realize those dangers are real, they are ready to face them with sweet assurance that they at least are not going through it alone, but with their loving heavenly Father, who has a plan and a purpose for their lives.
Next time you stand at the threshold of something scary that you know you need to cross over for the next chapter in your life, or a new challenging task, make sure God wants you there, and if so, cross over with joy and confidence, enjoying the sweet peace that comes in the midst of that trial, with all the waves and the winds, and yes, sometimes the snow blowing all around you.  Looking back, it may be one of your sweetest memories.
Psalm 46:1-3, 10,11: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.”


Mircea Negres Added Feb 21, 2017 - 2:31am
Nice post, Dawn. I've been in plenty of storms both literal and figurative, but none of them had a calm center and I was either with other people or alone. I felt no fear, only discomfort, though in some cases disappointment and anger were along for the ride too. Heck, I even got sick after getting caught in a storm of the meteorological kind.
For better or worse, there was no calm acceptance or comfort of His/Her/Its presence, only the determination to push through and do what had to be done, but if you experience this, then I say lucky you for it's pretty rare. As things stand, the infantryman's prayer from the Vietnam days applies to my situation more than anything (forgive the profanity, I merely quote it), namely "Lord, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for I am the toughest, meanest motherfucker in this here valley". By the way, Romanians used to smear glycerine (NOT nitroglycerine) cream on their windshields to prevent icing.
Dawn Foss Added Feb 21, 2017 - 8:46am
Isn't it great that God equips us with logic and reason, as well as abilities to preserve self in the midst of difficult situations?  I think we err when we think it is all about us. He has given us what we need to survive.  We should use those skills and knowledge, and not be lazy.  Too few either don't use what they have and let it lie waste, or they use it and think it's all their own doing.  We have our breath and our life because of God, and He deserves the honor and the glory.  Pride is the beginning of destruction for our souls.  Humility is strength.
Ari Silverstein Added Feb 21, 2017 - 9:25am
So you’re making the argument that God didn’t want you to attend the wedding and that’s why there was a blizzard?
William Stockton Added Feb 21, 2017 - 9:34am
Ari, did you even read the article?  She is making the point that even scary & dangerous things in life can have beautiful consequences.
Ari Silverstein Added Feb 21, 2017 - 9:48am
I should have made my point better, God has more important things to do than concern himself with whether or not Dawn attends a wedding.  Sometimes you shouldn’t go to a wedding because of blizzard conditions. Basing the decision on what you think God would want is ridiculous.  Some things in life simply have nothing to do with God. 
Dawn Foss Added Feb 21, 2017 - 2:37pm
Thank you, William, Ryan and Richard!  Ari, they are correct.  The point of this is that when you need to do something that is outside your comfort zone, God can bring beauty and peace out of it.  Yes, because the Bible says the very hairs on our heads are numbered, and that he knows when every sparrow dies, that he does care about the little things in our lives.  I pray about the littlest things that you would probably think are silly, like finding something on sale, but I have seen over and over that the more specific my prayers, the more specific the answers.  Do you get tired of small talk with your children or those you love?  I don't think God does, either.
My battle that day wasn't whether or not to go; I was committed.  I was the music for this wedding and they didn't cancel it, so I was going to be there if it was in my power to do so.  Fortunately, I believe God kept me safe, and I used my driving skills as well that I have learned from other harsh storms I have driven through.  God expects us to use what we learn.  However, no one faults those who couldn't come to the wedding.  There were many who couldn't or didn't feel safe, but loved the bride and groom just the same.  This was just a little anecdotal story of testimony of God's grace and provision, and how special that day was.  I was glad I got out of my comfort zone because the rewards were immense for me that day, and I'll never forget it.
Ari Silverstein Added Feb 22, 2017 - 8:32am
I believe God has more important things to do than concern himself with whether or not you get something on sale or pay retail.  Thinking he cares about such trivial matters reduces his importance in the world. 
Just like there are no atheists in foxholes there are no atheists on the road during a blizzard, but are you suggesting that those that got into an accident that day didn’t pray hard enough? 
Dawn Foss Added Feb 22, 2017 - 1:24pm
Dale Murrish Added Feb 23, 2017 - 3:42am
Great article, Dawn! Encouragement to ride out another storm....
Ari, think that she has explained it pretty well, the sovereignty of God in suffering and His personal presence in the lives of those who belong to Him. He is not just a figment of our imagination. 
Please consider moving from skepticsm, atheism or agnosticism to theism, then from theism/deism to consider that the Creator of the universe may actually be interested in the crown of His creation: the people (men, women and children) He has created in His image.
Thomas Napers Added Feb 23, 2017 - 4:08am
If prayers make no difference as to whether one gets into an accident or not, why is it important that we pray?
Dawn Foss Added Feb 23, 2017 - 2:53pm
Dale, beautifully said!  Thomas, I do believe prayers make a difference.  We are praying to our heavenly Father, who loves us like a parent loves His children.  If we don't pray, we are in essence not asking.  Praying doesn't take away our responsibility of doing the hard things, or from abstaining from foolishness, such as laying on a train track and praying God keeps you safe when the train comes.  We are each equipped with intelligence and logic to do the right thing, to draw us to God, and to know when to ask for help.  God is providential, and while He sometimes does allow bad things to happen, He also at times sees fit to intervene on our behalf to protect us when things are beyond our control, to perhaps give us wisdom and insight, or to send His angels to intervene.  Other times He allows us to go through the trial if it will bring about good in some way.  What we can know through all of this is that He loves us, watches us, and cares about  us.  1 Peter 5:7: "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."  Isn't that a beautiful thing?  
Philippians 4:6-7: "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Dawn Foss Added Mar 1, 2017 - 7:37am
You are so right, MJ, and I love that analogy!