This is a short story, a testimony about the faithfulness of Adonai, who is a miracle working God! “…He is a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.” (Nahum 1:7)
It was January 2014 in Branson, Missouri. The day before was Shabbat and it had been a bright and sunny day. We had ministered at the Tabernacle of Praise, a local Messianic congregation.
Although it was a little cool, nothing indicated a snowstorm coming. Around 11 O’clock Boaz and I were almost ready to leave, when snow started to fall. During just one hour while we packed our suitcases and cleaned the room it became brilliantly white outside as huge snowflakes covered everything.
The little condo the congregation graciously provided us was located in a deep valley. Looking outside the window we wondered how it could be coming down so quickly in such a short time and how in the world will we be able to climb up the hill to get out of here?
Before leaving, we prayed for God’s protection and travel mercy.
We quickly took all our bags to the car and locked the condo with the key inside. The highway wasn’t far. Having only a three-hour drive we surely never dreamt we might have issues getting home. Somehow we managed to get to the top of the hill; but our sense of accomplishment dwindled at the sight of another hill looming before us.
Two vehicles were right in the middle of the road trying to make it up the same hill. The drivers could only get their cars to creep up a few inches then the tires would slip on the fresh snow locking up then wiggle back down. They couldn’t make it to the top! It was very scary but surprisingly we passed those cars and continued toward the highway.
Everywhere around us, we saw cars strewn along the edges of the street. Some were right in the middle of the road trying to maneuver without success. Snow fell so rapidly. It blurred our vision.
Finally we arrived near the intersection leading to the highway. Up ahead, through the whirling snowflakes, we could barely see the mass of cars; all waiting to turn onto the highway. We patiently waited while the windshield wipers made their constant back and forth motion. After about twenty minutes, traffic still hadn’t moved. Everyone trying to go to the same place caused gridlock. It did not look good at all. We waited a little longer but things got worse as more cars blocked the road.
Through the falling snow I could see the lights of a McDonald’s restaurant. I asked Boaz if we could go there. It would be warm and we could have some food to eat and wait for the storm to pass. “The storm could last all day. We’re only a mile away from the highway,” Boaz said. I wished we could go back to the condo but we didn’t have the key anymore. I sighed.
Suddenly, Boaz turned around and started going in the opposite direction. “Where are you going Boaz?”
“I’m not sure,” Boaz kept driving.
“Boaz, do you know where this road will take us?”
“I have no idea, but if we stay here we might get trapped for hours. At least this way we can keep moving.”
Lovely, we don’t even know where we are going.
That’s when my prayers started out loud. I prayed, “Abba we trust in You. We believe You can take us out of this storm and bring us home in peace…”
We turned left and slid downhill. Boaz tapped the brakes but the car kept going. He gripped the steering wheel. His jaw tensed.
“I didn’t realize we were in such a deep valley. We can’t turn back now. The hill is too steep and the snow is too deep.”
After a few anxious moments, Boaz was able to bring our car to a stop.
“Boaz! Do we have enough gasoline?”
I envisioned us getting stuck in a big snowdrift. I wondered if we had enough gas to stay warm. Boaz assured me we had enough. How long we would have to endure this storm… I longed to be home!
While we were sitting in the car thinking what to do next, a man approached us and asked if we needed some help. Boaz asked him if this road takes us north of the main highway.
“It will take you further south, but yes, you’ll get to the highway from here. Actually, I’m going there too. If you want, you can follow me,” the man said, trying to encourage us. I thanked God.
We followed his car along the snow-filled road. We kept our eyes on the man’s car as he inched up the second hill sliding back and forth. His car barely made progress until it finally got stuck and couldn’t move at all. We didn’t know what to do! We wanted to help him but if we stopped, there would be two cars stuck instead of just one. We couldn’t help him anyway. We prayed seeking God’s help for the situation. With heavy hearts we passed him. It was a miracle that we even made it up the hill! We felt badly that we had to leave him behind.
The snow continued to fall and the road wound up and down like a roller coaster. We rounded a corner and started to descend. Our car began to pick up speed sliding down the hill with little control.
All of a sudden we saw a car stuck right in the middle of the road in the same lane as we were! Its big headlights were shining straight into our faces! It felt like this was the end! We were surely going to collide! Boaz tried to stop but we just slid. I don’t know how to express what I felt at that moment! The only thing I could do was to pray and to proclaim God’s mercy on us out loud and ask God to hear my prayer.
To this day, I’m not sure how we managed to squeeze between the car and the edge of the road. The moment it seemed we were going to crash, we slipped past without hitting it! We passed everybody on the road! I wondered why all the cars with four-wheel drive got stuck and our two-wheel drive went forward in spite of all the obstacles! Finally there was only one car on the road. It was our old Chrysler 300M!
By now the view had changed. We were driving through the forest in the middle of nowhere. No houses. No stores. No civilization.
It seemed like we had entered the land of Narnia. The GPS map didn’t show any roads before us at all.
Frightened, I asked Boaz if he had a clue where we were.
“No, I don’t,” he said, “What does your GPS show?”
“It shows nothing, literally nothing. Can you please stop and take a look?”
“If I stop, we will be stuck here forever,” Boaz said without looking at me. He couldn’t take his eyes off the road even for a second! Even though it was early afternoon, it was so dark that it felt like it was dusk. The heavy snowfall obstructed our vision. Every hill and turn threatened sliding off the road or running into another car.
Finally Boaz said, “I think I might know where we are.”
“I think we might be heading toward a huge lake at the bottom of the mountain. By the way, it’s a very beautiful place.”
I didn’t care if it was a beautiful place, I wanted out of there!
There was another big hill and once again, we were sliding down it fast with no way to stop! Only this time, there was a stop sign at a crossroad at the bottom of the hill. We needed the road to be empty at the same moment we went flying through the stop sign.
I thought it was my last moments in life. I desperately wished I could call my kids. No! I must concentrate on prayer. I cried out to my Savior!
We couldn’t see anything through the window now except snow, snow, snow! It was everywhere around us. I Praised God there were no cars and we made it through the intersection!
We drove about a mile and finally saw the huge lake with a long bridge across it. Although it didn’t seem solidly constructed, we had no choice but to cross it.
When would this nightmare end? Why would God want us to die here in this Narnia? What did we do wrong? Should we call our kids and parents to say goodbye? I prayed aloud again and again proclaiming our faith in YHWH our great and mighty God saying that we fully trusted in Him. That we believed He did not bring us here to minister and influence people’s lives, only for our lives to end in this valley.
Was I scared? Yes! I closed my eyes as we crossed the bridge. I couldn’t bear to look! Again, God was faithful and got us over safely.
I signed again, but it wasn’t the end, the most disturbing part was still ahead of us. Apparently, this lake was the lowest place in the area. The highway, where we needed to get to was at the very top of the mountains. Just a thought about us climbing up on this snow-covered mountain, where on one side was the mountain and on the other side nothing but a drop off down into a deep frightening valley, made my heart race. Just a little sliding could literally be our last!
The valley was really gloomy. Even the snow, that usually reflects the light, had nothing to reflect from. It was so weird to see this darkness in the middle of the day.
What should we do? In my mind, there were only two options, one was to stop and hope that we would not freeze to death in this low valley, the other was to take a risk and start climbing the mountain, and hope not to fall down and crash…
Boaz didn’t stop the car. Oh, no! Millions of little thoughts went though my mind. I prayed: “Abba we need You, please save us. We need Your help now!”
Suddenly I had a vision. I saw four Angels pushing our car. Two of them pushed from the back of the car. The other two supported each side of it. They were huge Angels, strong beings radiating great strength! They were whiter than snow, glowing like fluorescent lamps. At the same time they looked almost transparent. Only God’s miracle saved us from so many life and death situations that day!
Hours later we broke through the storm and arrived in Springfield; a town not far from Branson. It was like a different world; sunny, warm and no sign of any snowstorms at all! People watching us couldn’t understand where we came from with all the ice and snow stuck to our car. It looked bizarre.
I told Boaz, “You are surely an amazing driver!” You’ve done an excellent job, but I can’t give you the full credit. Obviously, using our own strength, we would never have made it out of that storm without God’s Angels. It was only YHWH’s miracles that saved us.
We gave thanks and blessed Adonai’s Holy Name for sending His Angels in that snowstorm. To Him alone be the glory forever and ever! Amen.