Shelter from the Rain

Not so many years ago, maybe 5, times had gotten really tough. My car had broken down the year before, and the car that used to be my great-grandmother’s finally left me on the side of the road. Resilience and determination are my strengths. Taking all of the cash I had that week which was less than $200, I paid a neighbor to take me to a particular super center to buy a bicycle for transportation and bring me home. The bicycle was a big, beautiful candy apple red with dark eggnog-colored trim and tires. It had a chocolate-colored wire basket in the front, two-toned handlebar grips and an adjustable rack on the back. The brand was a Huffy Nel Lusso- a real beauty. It rode reeeeeeeaaaaaally smoooooth.

Thankfully, I’d strategically moved within a 7 minute drive of a grocery store, university, grade school, daycare, gas station (which I no longer needed), fast food restaurant and a fabric store that would later became my place of employment. My routine at the time was to take my son to school, finish getting ready for work, go to work, get off work, and pick him up from daycare on my way home (the daycare would pick him up from school). The rack on the back was a part of the bike frame and really not suited for passengers. My son would ride on the back and wrap his arms around my waist and hold on tight. (I was slender enough at the time which really helped the situation.) Soon the rack became uncomfortable for his bottom, so I had to get creative. We had to keep moving forward and upward no matter the circumstance. I observed the bike rack and devised a plan to create a custom seat to attach to it. Of course we still didn’t have much money, so I went on a scavenger hunt around our apartment to see what might be useful. There was wood and 1″ thick foam left over from a custom headboard and foot stool I’d made before my car went down. There was thick, royal purple upholstery fabric salvaged from some old throw pillows that didn’t match anything in my apartment. My tool box housed my staple gun and wood glue, and a local hardware store took care of the u-shaped brackets and short wood screws I needed as well as the strip of foam that had adhesive on one side. After an hour maybe, I’d upholstered the wood and attached the seat. The foam served as cushion so that the brackets would not scratch the paint. It was nice. My son thought it was cool, and I had him try it out. He approved and so we kept on rolling, literally.

God favored us with nice weather for some time. Even getting to work seemed easier and more enjoyable. Dogs were kept at bay. Crosswalk lights assisted us with busy intersections. It was pleasant, and we were truly making the best out of our situation though some people laughed at us. Gee…I wonder what they would have done in our situation.

Dear reader, as you know, this blog site is branded Looking for God #HEISEVERYWHERE. Let me share with you how I found God on a sidewalk on my way home. One day, the weather turned, and it was up in the air as to whether we would beat the rain home. Right after I’d picked my son up in our 2-wheeled Cadillac, it started to sprinkle. As you can imagine, our journey was sprinkled with prayers. My concern was not only that we would get soaked and uncomfortable but also that the rain would make the sidewalks we road on and the bike pedals slippery. The last thing we needed was to slip and fall into traffic. With much caution and continuous prayer, we road on. We were almost home! HALLELUJAH! Then the sprinkling got heavier and the clouds thickened and darkened. Thunder rumbled a little ways away. Yes, in the back of my mind, getting struck by lightening was a concern. It didn’t look like we were going to make it. On the outside, I stayed calm for my son. On the inside, I kept telling myself to keep the faith in the face of fear. Faith was important. Fear could not win. The pastor of the church we belonged to at the time taught us that it is faith that moves God- not tears and emotion.

Then the Holy Spirit dropped a scripture in my spirit that gave me an idea. HE reminded me of how in the Book of Joshua chapter 10 versus 12-14 NIV, Joshua spoke to the sun and moon and told them to stand still until their victory was won. I knew that my faith had to be some kind of big to even think this would work, but there was no time to doubt. We could not afford doubt. Matthew 18:20 NIV says, “For where two or three gather together in my name, there am I with them.” I believed this, so to prepare for what I was about to ask God, I called out over my shoulder to my son. “Do you remember how in the Bible a man prayed to God to stop the sun so that he would be victorious in battle?” (That isn’t the exact wording of the scripture, but I remembered just enough at the time I needed it.) “Yes ma’am,” he yelled back over the passing wind. “Do you believe that if I ask God to hold back the rain until we make it home safely, HE’ll do it?” “Yes, ma’am,” he yelled back once more. I smiled. That was all I needed. With all the faith I could muster, coupled with the agreement with my 3rd grader, I petitioned God’s throne to hold back the rain until we made it home safely. Of course HE heard me the first time and knew what we needed before we asked, but still I prayed 3 times. The droplets reduced in size and slowed to a stop. More seconds separated the thunder. Answering the knock of opportunity, we speedily but carefully made it home. When we reached the bottom of the stairs, I had my son hop off the bike and go upstairs. I quickly followed behind with the bike on my shoulder. The moment my foot hit the top step, buckets of rain poured from the sky like the neighborhood would flood! Our eyes were wide in amazement at how much water could fall from the sky. Turning to my son with excitement, “Didn’t God do it?! HE answered our prayers!” We cheered and celebrated and just beheld the AWESOME power of God! Then in my mama voice, I told him to always remember the day that we witnessed this miracle. Always remember how God stopped the rain for us so we could make it home safely. To this day, he remembers. We both remember…how God was shelter in the rain. Be encouraged dear reader and just know that if you are Looking for God, #HEISEVERYWHERE

After much wear and tear, she’s still standing. Huffy Nel Lusso

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