Today I was meant to have meetings in Perth.
Until the 140mph winds hit Scotland in the early hours of this morning and caused travel/life/meeting chaos.
Pretty much all the power North of Inverness was off.
Lorries were overturned on the A9 (Seriously, REALLY pray for lorry-driver-safety in this craziness!)
A colleague flying up from London got re-routed to Manchester.
I returned home to find a serious part of the shed roof had blown away in the night.
It was chaos. Of the worst possible kind. And the snow is still falling.
Now, we did get part of the way down the road this morning.
So the day wasn’t completely wasted…
But, when we set off just before 8am we really thought we’d make it to Perth today. We knew that the winds had been a bit crazy in the night, but we also thought it was feeling a lot calmer in the new day. We knew that the weather reports from the Central Belt weren’t looking so grand, but we also believed it could well clear there too by the time we arrived… And we phoned ahead to see if the meeting was still going to run.
My Glasgow-based boss was optimistic, and said he’d keep in touch. So, feeling relatively confident we began our drive down the A9. Which to be completely honest… Wasn’t so bad. I’ve definitely driven in crazier-weather.
But what we didn’t realise is that a couple of hours South, things were really getting bad for the general-commuting-public. All the trains had been cancelled. All of them. Traffic was queuing all over the show. Actually and sadly, people were being hurt trying to get about. We finally called the meeting off at 9.15am. My boss phoned to say that even if we made it down, it was just too risky when the weather kept turning as quickly as it did. He told us how bad things were looking and just how long we could get stuck for. He made a wise call. Just in time for us to at least stop for breakfast before we turned round and drove back into a now-grey-Highland-snowstorm (So much for the calmer new day!)
But here was the thing, from our view on the journey, things looked ok. The winds had settled. The snow had stopped. We couldn’t really understand what all the fuss was about. But from my boss’s view, he could see the full picture. The potential risk. The potential danger.
And it reminded me of a conversation I was having with a couple of friends yesterday. About how sometimes God stops us from going down certain roads, or making particular choices, because He can see the full picture. It’s like He hedges protection around us, even when we’re unacknowleding or undeserving. Now don’t get me wrong, I know there are plenty of times where I bear some consequences because of my bad choices, my sin and my free will. But there are also plenty of times where I know that my beautiful Father-God, in His abundant grace, seems to have done something to stop me from walking in a direction that would have been full of potential risk or potential danger, because He sees things from the perspective that I don’t.
Grace like that I am floored by!
Yesterday I saw this so clearly and it made me so unbelievably thankful. I was driving past a house-renovation-project that I had come really close to putting an offer in for about 4 years ago. It was (and still is) stunning and full of potential. And I would still one day love to turn a place of that kind of size into a home that could shelter the vulnerable and the broken and the abused. But it was rural. And a long way from the city. And truthfully, if I’d been successful in moving out there a few years previously, it would not have felt like a good idea for very long. Because those of you who have seen the journey of my testimony these last years know that not taking that step at that time was a real God-seeing-the-storm-that-I-couldn’t situation.
Because He’s so wise. He is always and completely absolute wisdom.
Because He is so very for me, and so very not against me.
And that is the sweetest truth.
He is my refuge. My shelter. My protection.
And I guess today I’m just feeling so thankful that whether the storm rages against me because of my own choices, or because of the choices of someone else, or just because the weather has turned… He’s always constant. My refuge. My shelter. My protection. He doesn’t leave us without hope. He doesn’t abandon us to the darkness. He never makes it so there is no way through. But instead, He takes my hand and leads me forwards.
Last night in our house-group we were talking about hearing from God and making decisions that are in-line with His heart. And I love the ways He speaks to us. I love the ways He guides us. But I also completely love the way that when our hearts are genuinely for Him in our pursuit and our desire, He doesn’t leave us to drive unknowingly into more than we can bear. He knows the route. He knows how much. He knows the timings. He sees the end of this crazy story.
Man, He’s just so incredibly-awesome-in-all-His-ways.
Oh, and here’s a great photo of me and Becca on the beach as the winds started to pick up yesterday. Courtesy of Laura Rhian Photography. Of course. 😉