Many years ago, I travelled from Ontario, Canada to Dawson City Yukon - a distance of 5,255 kilometres or 3,265 miles - in an Austin Mini. It was a trip filled with adventure and there were many times when I felt the smallness of my little vehicle. One day in particular comes to mind.
I gripped the wheel of my Mini and concentrated on the flow of traffic around me. I knew the route I had to follow would take me through the heart of a large city. There was no by-pass to avoid the downtown traffic. I stayed in the middle lane to avoid vehicles turning left and right. As the city began to close around me, so did the traffic. I was already feeling a bit claustrophobic when a huge Semi pulled up to my right. We both stopped at a red light. Then another Semi pulled up on my left. The two trucks effectively blocked out the sun. I glanced in my rear-view mirror just as a third Semi pulled in behind me, stopping inches from my tiny bumper. Suddenly I realized my palms were sweaty. I concentrated on the stoplight and the instant it changed to green, my little car sped forward, out from under those looming shadows. I’m sure those truck drivers had a good laugh at my expense. I don’t know if they had intended to intimidate me, but they certainly succeeded in doing so.
I had a similar feeling just a couple of years ago when I attended a large book fair in one of the largest convention centres in the heart of Toronto, one of Canada's largest cities. I stood on the edge of that hall and stared at an overwhelming number of booths and displays. My ears buzzed with the hum of people - authors, publishers, editors, media people - all there for one reason - to promote or advertise or talk about books. The word "intimidated" does not come close to how I felt at that moment. I stood rooted to the spot. But then I saw a familiar face and told my legs to move. Within a few moments I was among friends and the panic attack I had felt coming on faded away. I was still a very small fish in an ocean but at least there were a few others just like me.
There are many times in a person's life when circumstances may overwhelm and fear threaten to paralyze. But God has promised to give us a way out - like a green light at an intersection, or a smiling face in an unfamiliar setting. That way is His only Son, Jesus Christ. Focusing on Him will lead us through any circumstance, any difficult place. Trusting in Him will give us the courage to walk the path He has chosen for us, even when it takes us into places where we don't feel we belong, like a huge book fair in a far away city, or a cancer clinic in our home town.
So "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning the shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2).
Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor's wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone and also has two devotional books in print. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan. The sequel to One Smooth Stone will be released in 2011. A collection of devotionals for writers has just been released here. Visit Marcia's website