We were on Highway A87 on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, headed for Portree, when it happened. A terrible accident occurred ahead of us, blocking the road in both directions. The only vehicles to move were of the emergency kind. We were stuck, with no way to reach our destination.
At first we thought all would be cleared up within the hour, but when the hour turned into two, we became aware of the gravity of this accident.
I decided to go up to see what was happening, and I was amazed to have to walk down at least two kilometers of stopped cars before I could even see the scene of the accident. Several firefighters were working on a crumpled-up car. A man was still stuck in it, and the firefighters were doing all they could to free him. Immediately I prayed for the accident victim, and then I returned to my car.
It was clear that we would be stuck here for at least another couple of hours, so we checked the map for a way around this section of the road. Unfortunately, there are no other roads to Portree, except for this tiny road we could see well below us. Unfortunately, there appeared to be a long line of cars on it as well, and none of them were moving.
One fellow tourist asked a guy in charge of traffic: “Are accidents more prone during the winter?”
“No ma’am,” he replied.
“Why are summers worse?” She asked.
He looked straight at her, and it was only then that she realized that most accidents occur because of over-eager tourists who are too impatient.
After three hours and a quarter, the local police began trying to free up the smaller road below us. It was a mess. It was a one-lane job, quite typical of the roads in Scotland, and hundreds of cars from both directions were trying to use it to by-pass the accident. This resulted in this road being “stuck” as well. It took a while for the police to “unstuck” it, and while we waited, I realized that we might very well lose our reservation at the Bed and Breakfast in Portree. We had no phone connections in the mountains, and thus, no way to contact the place where we were supposed to stay. I had read online reviews where tourists who lost their reservations at this particular Bed and Breakfast for showing up after six in the evening, and it was well past that time. I decided not to worry about it, however. After all, the poor man in the crumbled car was way worse than we were!
Finally the police freed the completely no-named road (Truly, that road had no name! Quite sad, don’t you think?), and they then escorted hundreds of cars through from the other end. Only when the last car cleared were we allowed to take our turn on that 8 kilometers of narrow, dirt road, littered with potholes. We were just happy to finally be able to move!
Suddenly we had phone reception. I quickly dialed our Bed and Breakfast, and we were able to confirm that we were coming. We still had a room for the night!
A moment after hanging up, our phone reception disappeared…
One thing I have learned is that adversity will always occur during our lifetime. Some have more adversity than others. That year we had our fair share of adversity, and interestingly enough we faced most of it positively.
Peter and his friends also faced adversity when they saw someone walking on the lake.
“They were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear.” (Matt 14:26b, NIV2)
Only when Peter heard Jesus say: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Matt 14:27b, NIV2) Peter’s fear turned into courage. Embolden, he shout out: “Lord, if it’s you . . . Tell me to come to you on the water.” (Matt 14:28, NIV2)
When Jesus invited him to come, he got out of his boat and started to walk on water. He was truly walking on the lake! He had overcome his adversity, until . . . “He saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!'” (Matt 14:30, NIV2)
Did you notice why he was able to walk on water? The whole time he focused on Jesus, he was able to walk on that water, without any difficulties. However, the moment his focus was geared on adversity, he lost it and started to sink.
The same is true with our trials. The longer we focus on our adversity, our weaknesses, our addictions, we will fail. The more we focus on Jesus, the more we become victorious and are able to walk on the adversities of life. After all, if we let Jesus guide us, we have nothing to fear! He has never failed us before, why would He start now?
The only way to keep our eyes above the tumulus waves is by focusing solely on Jesus. He is the One who will make our faith stronger than ever possible.
“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed-that exhilarating finish in and with God-he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” (Heb 12:2-3, MSG)
The last few devotionals of this series have been about our personal adversities when we flew to Great Britain. The whole time our Father sustained us and kept our eyes above the waves. Had I known ahead of time, I would have sunk like Peter. Victory is only possible by focusing solely on the Christ, the One who loves us more dearly than anyone else! “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57, NIV)
Are you stuck in traffic? What will you do about it?
(To access the entire “Facing Unimaginable Odds” devotional series, please click here.)