I remember our first winter living in the USA. One Saturday afternoon it snowed heavily, and a phone call came saying that church the following day was cancelled. I remember being quite unimpressed and thinking, These Americans don’t take church very seriously!
The next morning, we arranged to meet with some local friends for family devotions. We went on foot, but as we trudged through knee-deep snow by unploughed roads, we realised that cancelling church was the sensible and unavoidable thing to do.
It was a situation that Christians in the past would term as being ‘providentially hindered’: sometimes God so arranges events that we are prevented from gathering for worship.
A biblical example would be the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37). The Levite and priest in that story should have stopped on their way to worship in order to help the man on the Jericho road – they were providentially hindered because of the victim’s need.