A while back during a spectacular vacation, we enjoyed a wonderful day of riding snowmobiles in Western Idaho. Leaving the snowmobile trails we headed towards West Yellowstone, MT to return to Big Sky, Montana. While pumping gas in West Yellowstone, I noticed heavy flakes falling, and the whole town looked like a winter wonderland.
Driving out of town, we experienced the stark difference when the lights of the town ended. Most of that stretch of road is through Yellowstone National Park, along the winding Gallatin River. But there are no streetlights, stores, or homes—nothing but wilderness, and several sharp curves. With so much snow covering the road, only the extra tall roadside reflectors guided us through what often looked like the Millennium Falcon flying through hyperspace. While driving, I envisioned myself arriving at Big Sky and sitting by the fire. Yet, to enjoy that fire, I still had inch our way, reflector to reflector, through the darkness of Montana wilderness.
Tail lights Vs. Reflectors
Creeping along ahead of me, I approached several cars snaking their way along the road, and I followed the taillights when visible. Driving behind them for a couple of miles, it occurred to me to question whether or not the drivers knew the road well. Did they know about the river? Would I follow them and trust they wouldn’t take me off a cliff? My doubts of the skill and knowledge of the other drivers led me to distrust them. Instead, I trusted the reflectors placed by the state of Montana. In addition, I felt confident the reflectors were put in place during the summer…on high visibility days!
Alone and Out in Front
Several miles later, I noticed the lead car pull over and then fall in line behind the dozen or so cars winding along the road. This occurred several more times until I found myself leading the line of cars making its way in the Montana wilderness. Tightening my grip on the steering wheel, I glanced at my sleeping family. They rested and trusted me to get them safely to our destination. Did they know how nervous I was? I couldn’t even see the road! All I had were two slender reflectors that alerted me to the edge of the road, and I did my best to stay between them.
Eventually, I saw the lights of Big Sky and breathed a sigh of relief. The falling snow ebbed, and visibility slowly returned. Pulling into the parking lot, my family stirred and sleepily headed into the warmth of the condo. With no clue of my nervousness over the trip, they all climbed into bed and slept soundly. We made it back safe and sound, and I owed it all to roadside reflectors placed however many years ago that provided a well-lit path to safety.
As I glance backwards, may I only see Your provision. As I look forward, may my eyes see Your guidance.
— “The Caregivers Prayer” from HOPE FOR THE CAREGIVER
The events of that trip drove home a life lesson for me: Look to the reflectors.
Gracie had a series of back surgeries several years ago that kept her in the hospital for months. When the initial diagnosis came back and her surgeon told me what was going to happen over the next twelve weeks…I panicked. Tears flowed as I looked at him at said, “I can’t do this for three months.
Looking at me firmly, he said, “You’re not going to do it for three months. You’re going to do it for twenty-four hours.”
Furthermore, he quoted Matthew 6:34, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
If you feel you’re driving on a road that’s not visible to a place you can’t see, and you feel isolated and alone, look to the reflectors that God placed throughout His word.
“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path,” Psalm 119:105
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me,” Psalm 23:4
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand,” Psalm 37:23-24
God will guide your feet, strengthen your walk, and help you keep your eyes open no matter what road in life you find yourself traveling.
Peter Rosenberger is the president of Standing With Hope, the ministry he and his wife, Gracie, founded following the amputation of her legs. Through a prosthetic limb ministry and a nationally syndicated radio program for caregivers heard weekly on AFR, they seek to reach the wounded, and those caring for them. @hope4caregiver