It was my fault.
Questions swirled as I drove to the top of the Interstate exit ramp toward the hospital to visit my eighty-three-year-old widowed mom. “Congestive heart failure” rang in my ears.
Will Mama be safe living alone? Would she move in with us? Will the new meds help?
Deep in thought, I steered my Camry the wrong way onto a one-way street—straight into the headlights of a young man’s car.
I stared through the cracked windshield in disbelief. Thoughts flashed like lightning: I went the wrong way! Is he hurt? Why isn’t he getting out? It’s my fault. What should I do?
Guilt and fear captured me. My head throbbed in rhythm with my heart.
I cried, “Oh, please help me, Father God. Look what I did. Please let that man be okay. Help me, Father.”
Although I stood on wobbly legs when I exited the car, a sense of calmness soothed me. While I watched the other driver and the policeman who observed the accident walk toward me, my heavenly Father whispered assurance as if to say, “I am here. All is well.”
The external situation did not change. Traffic backed up and people gawked. My car, pointed in the opposite direction of the one-way arrow, announced, “It was her fault.” Deep inside, something did change. Peace replaced panic because of the One who stood beside me.
God didn’t arrive at the scene of the crash; He was there all along, ready to tend my troubled state. The balm of His presence relieved the flames of fear that engulfed me.
Months later, when my mother met Jesus face-to-face, the Lord soothed my heart again. Since the accident and Mama’s death, I’ve thanked God numerous times for His relief and answered prayer. When troubling news or a challenge careens down mental streets threatening to crash into my contentment, I often confess, “Father, I need You. Please help me.”
When I experience His willingness to exchange my unrest for His solace, I proclaim,
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation …” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NKJV
The author of Psalm 66 also remembered the way God nurtured his soul. Perhaps he yearned to shout with joy and beckon those he knew to listen when he wrote,
“Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will declare what He has done for my soul.” Psalm 66:16 NKJV
Maybe the psalmist recalled Yahweh’s peace in fearful times or deliverance when enemies advanced. Surely, like us, he encountered daily challenges which prompted him to testify of God’s care.
Like the psalm writer, in the face of trials and challenges, believers can turn down the one-way street of prayer to seek the “God of all comfort.” Regardless of the roadblocks we face or the errors of our ways, His consolations are limitless.
We could compose our own song of praise in a journal or in prayer to thank God for caring for our souls. What do you remember about the times God cared for you? Do you need His reassurance today? Like the gel of an aloe plant relieves sunburned skin, the balm of divine comfort quiets anxious hearts.
Copyright © July 2020 Jeannie Waters, used with permission.