Jacqueline Freeman Wheelock, Author

Jacqueline Freeman Wheelock, Author

The Long of it:

I was tired, lonely, and a little scared. Navigating Interstate 95 in a busy city in south Florida which was on the verge of a hurricane, my excitement about the trip I had been months in planning was flagging. It was hard to see in front of me—that juncture between night and day being firmly in control while wind and rain were on the increase. I seriously started to question my decision.

Should I even be driving 14 hours alone? Though I had made the drive many times before, this time, had my much-anticipated trip been a sound idea?

To arrive there as an onslaught of hurricane warnings was in play seemed ominous, but I kept driving, palm trees everywhere bowing to the will of the wind and its accompanying downpour.

What would happen when I got to the motel? When I got to my room? Would I arrive only to be sucked up by a massive hurricane? Was there even an evacuation plan for this motel? Surely yes, I thought among a swirl of advancing doubts.

Leaning toward the steering wheel, I finally saw the sign for the exit. I strained to see the blessed two lanes saying, “exit only.” Cautiously, I crept to the first red light, and giving myself time to breathe, I looked through the mist and darkness toward the heavens. There to my left was a rainbow—not just one, a double rainbow in the midst of a coming storm. Quickly, my natural instincts tried to ignore it—not its beauty but its possible spiritual meaning for me. After all, who am I to get a special rainbow and a double portion at that?

Then amidst that surge of aloneness I had been feeling, I suddenly started to feel like the one sheep in Jesus’s parable—in need of rescue and attention and sought after by the one true God. Had He truly put that rainbow there for me? 

The mystery of whether God would place a rainbow in the sky for only me was one I didn’t feel it necessary to delve into. The simple truth was I felt both rescued and restored. God was restoring my faith in a trip I desperately needed. My sinking spirit was that one sheep out of one hundred which Jesus spoke of in His eternal parable: Lost. Disoriented. Needy. Pursued. The one sheep he looked down upon in a storm—a storm He orchestrated—and lovingly picked up and placed on His shoulder.

I arrived at the motel with a renewed spirit, slept through the night of the anticipated storm only to wake up to calm palm trees and sunny skies. “What hurricane?” I thought.

The short of it:

Often with rescue comes restoration.