I started colouring this card the night before and this is what I held onto the next day while going through what had to be my scariest driving experience.
I was driving from the Western Cape to the Free State, and after about 11 hours of driving, I encountered a major storm on the very last stretch of the journey. Driving towards it, the lightning was hitting one side of the road then the other. At this stage, it was not really dark like one would expect of a major storm and it made a stunning picture.
In my rear view mirror earlier was a gorgeous picture of sun rays shining through the clouds.
At that time there was a rainbow across the road… it looked as if I was going to drive right underneath it. God’s promise that He will never again destroy the world and all that is on it with water came to mind and is what I held onto in the storm.
Then the rain started. Big fat raindrops bounced from the tar road just like hail would. That was interesting to see. The sky was reddish at first but then it quickly turned grey & dark, as curtain upon curtain of rain washed over the terrain. Soon I could not see the edges of the road.
Now, I have driven this road often; after all this the district where I grew up. I know very well there are areas where the sides drop very sharply.
Suddenly I realised I was driving over the middle double-line. Thankfully the cat eyes (light reflectors) in the middle of the road guided me, but it was still scary driving. I knew I could not pull over – with such poor visibility I would be a danger to the vehicles coming from behind, and as I still could not see the edge, I could quite easily drive into a ditch or roll the car. I just had to keep going with the little bit of guidance from the cat eyes and switch on my hazards in the hope that it would increase my visibility to other vehicles. Any vehicles coming from the front splashed waves of water over my car window rendering me sightless for a few moments until the window wiper could work it away.
Through this darkness suddenly appeared a square block of lights in front of me, right about at the single tree on the little hill. The grace of God that night was a big truck at one of my landmarks for knowing I am close to town. That is where I stayed, driving behind the big truck all the way into town. The final approach to Bethlehem has a very steep drop on the left side. I never thought I’d be so thankful to drive behind a truck!
Even as I got into town the drive was scary as visibility was still very poor: I could not make out the actual lines of the three lanes: I just used the other cars to gauge my position on the road. Thankfully at that point, the road is a one way. I kept my eyes on the kerb and thankfully I did not slide at any stage. Especially not at the sharp right turn right at the top where I had slid before with the bakkie in far lighter rain. I think I have a petrol attendant in Bloemfontein to thank for not slipping or sliding as he insisted on lowering my tire pressure.
My lesson from this experience was that when our vision is limited, we usually can rely on what we know (about the physical and natural space we are in). However, it was the promise of the rainbow before the storm and the words on the card I started colouring the night before, that provided the courage to keep going when my vision was seriously impaired.
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
Along life’s journey when we can’t make out exactly what to do next, it is important to look out for the clues and any help offered, and understand that these may take a form different from what you expected, but the end result would be a light to guide your way.