Last week, my wife and I drove up into the Blue Mountains in Oregon for a couple of days. It snowed over a foot during the night, which was welcome and stunningly beautiful. The next day, however, when I went to get our truck, I found it walled in by a mountain of snow the snowplows had piled up in front of its only pathway out. The parking lot was deserted. I stood in front of my truck, a snow shovel in hand; a bit forlorn about how many hours it would take me to shovel the berm out of the way so we could drive home.
Tempted to get discouraged, I corrected my thinking and said, “Evan, life is good. God is here. Everything is okay. Take this one step at a time and stay filled with gratitude.”
I dug out the side door so I could get into the truck and start the engine. Once inside, the engine started fine. I was grateful! And I expressed gratitude to God.
I looked ahead at the snow-covered windshield, took a deep breath and briefly voiced, “Now all I need is a snowplow to come along and dig me out.” I chuckled a bit, and not entertaining that suggestion one second longer, I put on my gloves, stepped outside, and started digging. Within a minute, I heard a noise coming down the empty highway. I looked up, and what did I see? A monster road grader, chains on wheels, with a snow blade barreling in my direction.
Wow! God answers prayers quickly, I exclaimed out loud with awe and barely-containable delight.
The driver of the plow gave me a high sign, as if to say, “Don’t worry. I’ll have you out of there in no time.” And he did.
Ten minutes later, I was shaking his hand and telling him he was an answered prayer.
The timing was not a coincidence, I’m confident. I see too many occurrences like this in my life to believe otherwise. I suppose you could say it was a coincidence of prayer. That I would agree with. But it was not by chance. I felt God’s presence. I knew God’s help was at hand.
But it’s critical to note, that after my little prayer of “Now, all I need is a snowplow,” I did not look for a snowplow. I did not get out of my truck, stand at the side of the road, and wait for a snowplow. My prayer was not really a direct request for a machine to appear, but more of a spiritual recognition that with God’s help, the job would be done with joy and ease.
It just so happens that a snowplow was the nearest concept I could think of for getting the job done fastest. God’s help could have taken a different form. But a snowplow is the form it came in this time.
I think if I did wait for a plow, it wouldn’t have come. I would have been materializing spiritual aide and doubting to a degree that God’s help was already at hand. When I stepped out of the truck, I was ready to dig for hours until I had the truck free. That was the most logical activity I could see doing at the moment. But I was not feeling any burden about it. I was not worried about how long it would take. I was not complaining. I felt a profound conviction that everything was okay, and I had nothing to fear. God gave me everything I needed to be free.
I didn’t feel imprisoned by the massive snow berm any longer even though it was still there. My thought lifted out of time into eternity. I felt free. The freedom I felt inside was soon manifested as freedom seen on the outside. In this case, as a snowplow that soon appeared and removed the formidable snow bank.
So, if you ever feel stuck behind a wall of trouble, fear not. God is sending a snowplow your way too. But don’t look for a snowplow. Your help may appear in a different form. Know your help is already present. Keep working as if you already have everything you need to be free. You do. Freedom starts within. And what you find within, you’ll find without, too.