Experiencing the beauty of the mountains during this time of year is always a treat. The surprise of riding the train was a special thrill. We were primed for adventure, looking forward to what was around each bend.
There wasn’t much warning, just a bit of a grind and a little shake. Not until everything stopped did we know. The engine on our train had come off the tracks, derailed. That big, heavy, powerful engine lost it’s footing and, in a quick instant, became stranded and tipped.
Just like that.
Our plans changed, our view obscured, the day shifted.
And we waited, for what felt like a long time, with no news and no answers. We waited, bundled up, but shivering, in our open air car. We just had to wait and hope that movement would come again. That the conductor would have a plan.
And just like that we receive bad news and it feels like we are coming off the rails. In a split second, with no warning, our life shifts.
A loved child, who laughed yesterday, is gone.
A talented young person, with so much promise, loses hope.
A friend learns that her cancer is still a threat.
A phone call delivers a mortal blow.
A virus attacks.
A catastrophe strikes.
In an instant, life can come off the rails. We can feel stranded, lost, and cold. And we wait and wait and wait for the pain to stop, the fear to let go, for hope to move us.
It’s stunning to realize that we are just passengers and we aren’t the ones driving. Our control is so limited. And even when we feel off the track, there is the One who has the power to move us even if it seems like the wait is long.
My heart hurts for those whose lives have been grounded to a halt by that split second of derail. My prayer is for your waiting, that you would find comfort within Hope.
“I waited and waited and waited for God. At last He looked; finally He listened. He lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me from deep mud. He stood me up on a solid rock to make sure I wouldn’t slip. He taught me how to sing the latest God-song, a praise-song to our God. More and more people are seeing this: they enter the mystery, abandoning themselves to God.” Psalm 40:1-3