When All You Can Do Is Pray


This was our view on one of the drives we made over Christmas.  I didn’t take a picture during the other drive, but imagine lots of snow, winds and at times near white out conditions….if I haven’t already mentioned it I do not like driving during winter weather.  And yes I realize that I live in Minnesota so it is inevitable, but I don’t have to like it!

On top of all of this I am a very nervous rider. It seems to me that when I am not in the drivers seat it feels like everything is always on the verge of being out of control. Good times for all involved I know.

So I found myself in a long car ride, sick to my stomach. Fear and worry can consume me in a snap and I start to think about the worst case scenerio happening to us. I know that these feelings are not from God and so at times like this the only thing I can do is pray.

I have no control over the weather.

I have no control over the drivers in front of us or behind us, or the semis that are screaming past us….no control. And while I find comfort in believing that I have control over some things…I knew this was one situation that I had to give over to God completely.

So I prayed.

And prayed and prayed.

In moments where we don’t have control and we don’t know what else to do – we CAN pray. And it doesn’t have to be a really in-depth prayer either….I literally just prayed “God Protect Us” over and over.

I just started reading a new book by Mark Batterson called “In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day“. I am not that far into the book but this stuck out at me specifically.

“The word over in the phrase “over the water” comes from the two-dimensional Hebrew word paniym.  In regards to time, paniym can refer to the split second before something happens and the split second after something happens. In regards to space, it can refer to the space right in front or right in back of you.

In the words of the Psalmist:

I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there too.

It’s almost as if God forms a parenthesis in time and a parenthesis in space around us. He is hovering all around you all the time.”

Do you love that visual as much as I do?

That God literally is behind you and in front of you at all times?!

Bad things happen but it doesn’t mean that God isn’t there with us.  I have struggled with this in the past so I am not some “expert” on walking the Christian life well.  I have found myself in situations where I was sure God had deserted me then to see, in hindsight, that He had been there all along.

He has formed a parenthesis around my life.

He is in it all. So I can remind myself in times of worry and fear, God continues to go before me, continues to walk behind me….Just as He always has.

I will find myself on a snowy road again in the future, literally and figuratively.  We are not promised that we won’t have troubles, but we are promised that He has overcome all of it.

Today I will hold tight to that promise and the idea that He goes before me and behind me through it all.

Do you struggle with worry? What works best for you in situations like these??

0 thoughts on “When All You Can Do Is Pray

  1. Chelle

    This line “He has formed a parenthesis around my life.” was brilliant. I think that will become my prayer.
    So glad that you found yourself in need of time with Him. Is there ever enough?
    Peace and good to you as we approach the New Year.

  2. Delonna

    Between Christine and you – I am guessing I should crack open my book and read it. Don’t ask me how long I have had it on my shelf – LOL. Anyway I agree that PRAYER CHANGES EVERYTHING. It’s where we can talk to God about our worries, fears and disappointments. We can praise him for all that he has done and is doing in our lives. When I was driving back from OH a couple weeks ago – the roads were really bad in the hills of PA. I was so nervous and I kept talking to God through the entire ride. Praying he would protect and guide me home. It was through prayer I received his peace. I’m so glad God got you and your family home safely.

  3. Deb Weaver

    Oh, this is timely. I, too, am a very nervous winter driver and all season rider. I have a cross-country trip to drive with my daughter from MI back home to SC in a week and a half. (It involves flying up and driving a car back.) I keep kicking myself for choosing this timing. I’m trying to pray and praise, but worry, anxiety, and dread are nearly strangling me. I’m going to keep fighting!

    It’s also divine timing to be reading Christin Ditchfield’s What Women Should Know About Facing Fear right now. I read that Batterson book a couple of years ago and appreciate the reminder of God enclosing us in His parentheses. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Deb Weaver

  4. Sarah E

    I love the visual of the parenthesis! So good! I struggle with worry at times as well and my prayers are often simple like yours was while driving in the snow. Sometimes just the simple repetition is so helpful!


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