This week has brought a string of frog-stranglers – most of them conveniently starting about 5pm. I usually take a long, hard look at the radar on my computer before leaving work so I can decide if I want to chance taking the interstate or take a country back road to avoid the slip-n-slide indy-car racers.
Tuesday afternoon, I made the wrong call. The radar showed the red clumps moving to the northwest, away from the interstate. The guy in charge of the radar at NOAA must have been on break or something.
Because that radar was wrong.
Now, I’ve spent ten years driving up and down I-75. And I’ve driven through some storms. But Tuesday was something else.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a few cars that had hydroplaned and now rested at odd angles in the median. I was afraid. The enemy kept whispering “you’re next.” Every time my tires hit another deep pond of water, shifting the car slightly, my stomach lurched.
Unable to make out anything other than the fat white line on the side of the road, and afraid to pull off the road for fear of being hit, I kept driving at 20 miles per hour, while the doubletime beat of the flashers and wipers accompanied my fervent appeal for deliverance.
Gradually, I became aware that I was feeling a disconnect from my situation. The fear seemed to be pressing toward me, reaching out to me, but a buffer had come between me and the fear. It seemed like angels were pressing in to shield me and the fear was being displaced to somewhere just beyond them.
Twenty minutes later I pulled in my driveway and got out of the car in the bright, sweltering, August sunshine. Sighing another “thank you, Lord,” I glanced southeast, toward the storm I’d just driven through. A smile crept across my face … and grew to a great big grin. There – between me and the storm – was a rainbow.
That would just seem a coincidence to most. But I know what it meant. You see, a few minutes earlier, I had just asked the Lord to never allow me to drive through a storm of that intensity ever again.
God didn’t have to put that rainbow there. But He did. Just for me.
I think I felt a little like how Noah must have felt when he saw the very first rainbow.
Except that his storm lasted forty days, during which he was mucking elephant stalls. Mine was only forty minutes. No elephants.