A Deliverer

So, I learned a two-part lesson this week. It all started on Tuesday, with a rather startling revelation. During my prayer time, I’m quite sure that the Lord told me, “You know, what you really want is a warm blanket God. That’s not who I am.”

I was a little insulted. After all, I write and teach Bible Studies. I certainly “ought” to know who God is. I, of all people (exuding pride here, I know) ought to realize the “whole picture” of our God.

But in an instant, I knew: He’s right. Again.

I do want a warm blanket God. One to cuddle up with. Where I can hide out against the storms of life. I don’t want my blanket God to ask anything of me. Heavens no. No expectations desired. Just warm fuzzies. That’s what I prefer.

So. I took him at his word, and I went away thinking about it. How do you change that? How do you let God be who he is and not who you want him to be?

Forward to Wednesday. I’m training for the Seattle to Portland Bike classic, a little 207 mile trek that happens in early July. It involves putting in a lot of miles, and in my case, the training starts in January. So, this week, I had 16 miles still to ride. But the weather wasn’t promising. In fact, they were predicting a blizzard to hit about the time of the evening commute.

It had snowed all morning, without really sticking. But at 11.30 AM, I looked out my office window to clear skies and melting snow. I thought, this is my moment. I can do the 16 miles in a quick hour and be done with it before the arctic blast hits. I got ready and headed out.

The weather started to deteriorate about 2 miles into my ride. But I thought, it’s not bad. I’m not cold. It’s snowing but it’s not sticking. I pushed on. At mile 10 the hail started. It’s not bad, I thought and pushed on. Suddenly, at about mile 12, the wind picked up to about 20 MPH, and the hail started blistering my face, landing in my eyes until I found myself careening down a hill with my eyes CLOSED.

Not the way to ride your bike. I pulled to the side of the road and turned around. “At least it’s not sticking,” I said. “I can make it home.” And I looked down to the pavement and in that very instant, the snow began to stick. The wind picked up and I leaned my bike into it. My eyes felt like they’d been caught in a storm of nails.

I began to pray. “Lord, stop the wind, if only for a moment.” It didn’t stop. “Stop the snow.” It didn’t stop. I thought of who to call. My phone rang and when I picked it up, it shut down. Battery dead. Snow got thicker. Cars started to skid on the road near me. I approached a stop sign and my tires began to spin. The legs went around, but the bike went nowhere.  Uh, oh, not good.

I begged God to get me home. I was five miles away. It felt like fifty. My brakes didn’t work. The bike made noises I’d never heard before. Trucks lost control only inches from my shoulder. I’ve slid on the ice before. The bike goes in directions only God could predict. The biker lands in strangely uncomfortable and unpredictable positions. I wasn’t looking forward to that.

I was afraid.

But inch by inch, prayer by prayer, I made it home. Half a mile from my house, a lady offered me a ride. I declined. I was close enough now. I walked the bike down the big hill to my house. When I got there, my brakes were frozen to the frame. Frozen. Ice had packed the space between the frame and my tired. That was the noise I heard.

It wasn’t until after a hot bath and warm clothes and a hot chocolate, that I sat down to pray again. That was when I realized that I’d been delivered. Not delivered FROM the bad weather, but THROUGH the bad weather. God had delivered me safely home. I had to thank him for that. It was a profound experience.

In the process, he proved himself my deliverer. Not my warm blanket. Not my cozy shield. God was my deliverer. In the face of wild danger, God showed up. He came through. He met my needs. Not the way I asked, but in his own powerful way.

He is what he is. And that is the God he wants us to know. It isn’t comfortable discovering that he can deliver me from danger. It’s dangerous. It isn’t easy to find he is our provider. It involves becoming needy. To meet the healer, we must experience illness.

I am choosing to discover him as he is. How about you? What did you experience this week where God revealed himself in a personal way to  you?


2 Responses to “A Deliverer”

  1. Cheryl Says:

    When I read your blog, this came to mind. Ac ts 12:8
    Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him.
    I think you did just that. You wrapped your cloak around yourself and peddled home guided by an angel. It’s to your credit that you recognize who your cloak is. C

  2. Bette Nordberg Says:

    Just this morning, my son chastised me about the foolishness of biking in the snow. I tried to explain that it wasn’t my choice; it just happened that way. But I’m still marveling at the kindness of God in bringing me home safely. My cloak? Yep. He surrounds me with grace, even when I shoulda’ been safe and warm at home!

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