The Pastor's Corner
“And He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”
It was a cold winter evening as our carload of college students drove the quiet gravel roads of rural Alberta to the small hamlet of Buck Lake. A few snowflakes had begun to fall as we drew near the homes of two families with whom we had a Bible study scheduled. This was an exciting and pleasant change from a week of classes and homework. There were always plenty of volunteers to go along for the weekend of Bible studies, church service and special music participation in one of the neighboring churches of that district.
Because of the isolated nature of this Bible study, we usually covered two lessons each time we visited. Tonight was no exception. And, as usual, we were quite late in completing the lessons and answering the questions that arose.
As we stepped out of the doorway of the home, we were amazed to find over a foot of newly fallen snow on the ground and a snowstorm that was rapidly adding more to it.
The car doors pushed snow aside as we climbed into our vehicle. Then with great difficulty we managed to pull out of the driveway and onto the narrow road.
As we traveled the unplowed snow covered roads, we soon encountered deep snowdrifts that blew up and over the front of our car as we drove through them. These nearly brought the car to a standstill unless we hit them with sufficient speed.
Then we started coming upon stranded motorist that needed pushing to get their cars going again in the deepening snow. We would pull over the best we could, stop, and all five or six of us pile out and push the other vehicle to get it going again. Then we would have to do the same to our own car. The problem was, we could ill afford to stop moving to get back into the car without being stuck again ourselves. Running, pushing, then pulling each other back into the moving car soon exhausted our energy.
Stuck once more in the middle of the road we all decided to have a prayer that God would help us get going once more and then keep us going. With the last of our strength, we pushed our car and then managed to climb in while it was still moving forward. At first, it appeared that we wouldn’t keep the momentum going. But then, as we all prayed, the car began to move faster and faster through the drifts and deep snow.
Our prayers turned to praise as we traveled on for quite some time. It was as though we had more power and ability to plow through the deep snow than we had previously the whole evening.
Coming over a small rise and then dipping down into a wooded gully, we suddenly saw the headlights of a stranded car that was nearly in the center of the road. Beside the car, squatting in the path of our rapidly approaching vehicle was a person. Desperately our driver tried to slow down and pull our car over onto what little shoulder there was. But every time he tried to bring the car over to the shoulder, the deep snow and drifts would bounce us back towards the center. At the last moment, we all dropped our heads praying for help and not wanting to see our car run over the man in the road.
Almost mysteriously our car pulled over onto the shoulder and then back into the tire ruts in the road center just beyond the stranded vehicle and person. We stopped and sat for a few moments, relieved and still slightly shaken by what had almost taken place. Then our driver, an older gentleman, spoke slowly. “Fellows, I gave up trying to steer around him and I just prayed. The car just went over and came back on its own. God’s angels must haven been pushing us.” We all agreed.
Climbing out of our car, we found a very drunken man trying to change a tire he thought was flat. It wasn’t, so we got him back into the warmth of his car and pushed it to a start. Then climbed back into our own car and managed to get started again.
Songs started to be sung as we felt the assurance of God’s presence and power around us. What grace he had shown to us and to that stranded fellow. God had given his angels charge over us, and had kept us in our ways that night. (Ps. 91:11)
Often I am reminded of that incident as I drive the wintry, snow-covered roads in my work as a pastor. I still invite, welcome, and feel the protective presence of God’s angels as I travel. What a comforting promise this verse is.