The Longest Night
The wind howled outside, and the windows rattled with the blizzard’s growing intensity. Where could our son be? This wasn’t like him. Even though he was a college student, he always let us know if he was leaving Fort Collins and called when he returned. This was such a favored trait that his younger brothers and sister resented his loyal habit because we expected them to do the same.
As the intensity of the storm grew, so did our anxiety. We called our second son who was at the same college, and asked him to check Joe’s apartment for any sign of his return. Maybe he had dropped off his skis and gone to eat with friends.
Ty found no indication that Joe had returned. “I even called his girlfriend, and she is worried about him too. Let me know if you hear from him, okay?”
“We will, Ty.” As evening turned into night, we waited and paced. Dave had even called the state patrol to ask about any accidents involving Joe’s license plate number. The officer took our information and said the only thing to do was wait.
Dave pulled me to the couch to sit down. Then he bowed his head, and I joined my hand to his. “Lord, we have a boy out in this blizzard somewhere. We know something isn’t right because he hasn’t called home. We also know that you know exactly where he is and what his situation is. Please watch over him and the other friends with him. We place him in your hands and entrust him to your care. We can’t do anything to help him from here. Thank you that you are able to take care of him. In Jesus, your son’s name, we pray. Amen.”
Praying together definitely helped to settle us both down. After another hour or so with no word, Dave again spoke up. “We might as well go to bed. Joe is in God’s hands, and wandering around this house isn’t going to do any good. We’ll hear the phone just as well in the bedroom.”
“You go on to bed. I’ll come after a while. I need to spend some time in my Bible.”
As I read scripture a sense of peace began to come. Psalm 121 states, “I will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.” I claimed these words for Joe, and with them in my mind and heart, I crawled into bed and actually fell asleep.
When morning came, so did Colorado blue skies. The storm had passed in the night. The storm in my mind continued, though, as we still had no word on Joe’s whereabouts. I knew something had happened or he would have called. “Lord, you see where Joe is and what has happened to him. Please send help if that’s what is needed. Help me to leave him in your hands and trust him to your care.”
The phone startled me out of my deep thoughts and prayers. I raced to answer it and heard the voice of our son on the other end. “We came out of the mountains early because we knew a storm was in the forecast. There was no storm up high, but as soon as we descended into Denver, the storm hit with full force. We ended up stalled on I-25 with semi’s tipped over and jack-knifed on the highway and in a horrendous traffic jam. We couldn’t go forward or backward. Finally, when daylight came, we grabbed our shovels and dug our way out to the frontage road. We were nearly out of fuel from running the heater on and off all night, but God took care of that! There was a gas station just on the other side of the frontage road! Now we are all back in Fort Collins and all is well.”
All I could say was, “Thank you, dear Lord. You are so good to us. Your grace is beyond measure. Praise your Holy Name.”
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