Last night, I was sitting in my apartment watching “Horton Hears a Who” with my beautiful, sometimes annoying, oh-so-wonderful roommates, when we heard a noise. Looking out the window, we noticed a guy and girl in their little Mitsubishi stuck in a snowdrift. The day’s accumulation of snowflakes made the parking lot impossible to escape via anything without 4-wheel drive. In an effort to end the annoying noise of tires spinning, we threw on some boots and ran outside. Despite the pajama pants and lack of mittens, the Mitsubishi was successfully pushed out of the parking lot in a matter of minutes.
The Mitsubishi was stuck in a snowdrift.
I, too, have been stuck in a snowdrift.
Maybe you can relate. A snowdrift of guilt, one of pain, or a drift of bitterness. Initially, you deny that you’re actually stuck and you press on the gas pedal a little harder hoping to actually make it through. But then you realize you are stuck, and so you alternate forward and reverse, as you turn your wheels slightly. You hope there will be some sort of traction, or that somehow you’ll be able to “unstuck yourself”. And above all, as you sit in your car, stuck in a snowdrift of stress, grief, loneliness, or anger, you desperately hope no one is peering at you through their window. Suddenly, you remember the snow shovel in your trunk and you start frantically shoveling in an effort to “unstuck yourself”. It’s embarrassing really, to be seen in this state of powerlessness. But time goes on, and you realize you alone can’t get yourself out of the problem you’re in.
I’ve been in many different snowdrifts. But this I’ve learned…I have only one hope. I can’t always rely on “Galinda the Grand Prix” to plow through the snow. I can’t always get through it on my own. Sometimes I get stuck, and the shovel isn’t big or strong enough for all the snow. Rarely does a stranger help push or pull you out. The snowdrift is often a lonely place to be.
In this loneliness, I’ve learned to genuinely come to God…no pretenses or charades, no denial or accusation. I simply come as I am, messed up and broken. In this snowdrift, eventually I realize I can’t do life on my own. My own attempts have proven cracked and insufficient. So I turn to my Only Hope.
There’s a song that has been on repeat in my iTunes, entitled “The Only Hope” by Bebo Norman. The song is about begging God to take our lives and hold on tight. We have hope for our lives when they’re in the hands of God. It’s a beautiful thing when we finally get to the point of putting our lives in God’s hands. Everyday, several times throughout the day, I have to remind myself of that. God has proven Himself faithful time and again. He doesn’t forget or break His promises. He meets me right where I am, stuck in the snowdrift. In Him, there’s freedom and forgiveness, there’s life and joy. I’m much better off in God’s hands than my own.
But sometimes, you sit stuck in that snowdrift for what seems like forever. I don’t know why. But I hold on to the truth that there’s beauty in the pain, there’s lessons learned in trials. God has come. And God will stay. No matter the reason, the duration, or the perception of the snowdrift, He’s still the only hope for getting ‘unstuck.’
[Please know that I’m not downplaying friends, church family, medicine, counseling, etc.]
Wherever you are, whether you’re stuck in a snowdrift or toasty warm by a fireplace, may you come to learn that God really is our only hope. If you’re in the snowdrift tonight, do not sit in your car twiddling your thumbs. Yes, put your hope in God, but then take measures to get unstuck. If you’re peering through a window at the person stuck, do not turn away. Sooner than later, you’ll be in a drift yourself. So come alongside that person, learn from them and point them to our Only Hope.