I’ve been looking at photos of storm damage all over my friends’ Facebook pages tonight. It is one of the byproducts of living in the South--severe weather and the threat of hurricanes each year.
I saw a report recently where a man in Oklahoma was ripped out of his mobile home by the 170mph winds of the tornado and thrown 1300 feet--no lie--and landed safely on some dirt. He was tossed about but not injured at all.
Tossed about but not injured. How is that even possible? I was so taken by that miracle.
I have been through so many horrible, personal storms in my life. God has patiently held me as I wandered in and out of His will for me, allowing me to be tossed about, but not seriously injured.
Now I have come to a place in my life where I am learning that each storm that I go through in my life may not necessarily be meant to test me or to be some great trial with some huge soul lesson to learn. Sometimes, instead, I think I may be placed in a storm because I am needed there. Someone, in the rain and wind, needs me to be there with them...to hold their hand, to tell my story of pain, to tell God's story of grace, to let them know they are not alone.
Awesome realization. Awesome responsibility.
When I was a single mother, and tornado warnings were announced, I was scared--no, petrified with fear--that my young children would be ripped out of my arms if the roof blew off my house. Laugh if you want to, but I had heard horror stories of babies being ripped out of their mother's arms in a storm, and I refused to let it happen to me. If it was going to happen, I was going to be sucked out with them!!!
So I would literally take three belts, buckle them to each other end-to-end, and wrap them around my waist and then around each child's waist until we are all fastened together tightly inside this make-shift, leather circle. Then we would sit in the hallway on a bunch of pillows and I would read aloud from my Bible about how God controls the winds and waves....and we would wait for the storm to pass.
And so it is today. I am sometimes asked to get out the leather belts, strap them together, and gird up with the ones who are weaker than me. Not for my own children, but for God's. To sit in the hallway with them until their personal storm has passed.
I hear you, Lord! It’s not always about me.
Perhaps the stormy path I have been placed on is only about seeking the lost sheep; bringing the Kingdom into places where it has not been known before. I may be tossed around but I won't be injured.
Awesome realization. Awesome responsibility. And, thankfully, amazingly, awesome peace.
"Who is this man, that even the waves and the wind obey Him!" Mark 4:41