I’m a big chicken when it comes to storms.
Growing up in Georgia, we had the severe thunderstorms with an occasional tornado.
I used to be terrified of even the thunderstorms. If it started lightning and thundering, I would close my eyes and try so hard to distract myself.
Okay, let’s be honest… Most of the time, I would be crying before it was over.
Thankfully, I outgrew the majority of that, but to this day, if the possibility of a tornado is mentioned, I will tuck tail and run for the nearest safe place faster than you can say, “Find shelter immediately.”
I’m way ahead of you there.
This, of course, entered my mind when my husband and I began planning our trip to see my brother- and sister-in-law in who are missionaries to the Choctaws in Oklahoma.
I mean, hello! It’s tornado season!!
I mentioned my concerns (and “concerns” is putting it lightly!), and my sweet hubs reminded me that they have a cellar, if the situation called for it.
At least there’s that!
After leaving church and driving all night, we arrived safely in Oklahoma this morning….just in time for the huge storm system to come through.
Thankfully, they are just across the border from Arkansas in the outskirts of the Ozark mountains, and the tornadoes rarely make it to this area.
Still, after seeing the devastation that occurred about 4 hours from here in Oklahoma City today, it is safe to say it left me on edge.
We went into town tonight to get supper and groceries. While we were there, a storm came through.
My sis-in-law and I sat inside of Walmart for a while to wait out the storm while our hubbies were in the car.
A wall of water poured while lightning lit up the sky and the thunder rumbled and shook the building.
Again, nervous would be an understatement!
I was checking out the building, trying to estimate how sturdy it was (like I would know!), deciding where I would run and hide should the need arise.
As we sat on a bench inside the store, all of a sudden, we heard what sounded like a train.
My heart stopped.
It took a second before we realized what we heard was not a tornado, but an actual train!
It was funny after the fact, but it was certainly terrifying at that moment!
As we were headed back to their house, I was watching the lightning shoot across the sky and thinking about the storms today, and I realized again why we refer to there being “storms” in our lives.
Is that not exactly what happens?
Things are going well, and all of a sudden… Bam!
The rain starts pouring, the wind starts howling, the lightning starts flashing…
Sometimes, we can deal with the rain. We can even deal with a little wind, a little thunder and lightning.
Just a little storm…. Nothing we can’t handle, right?
Other times, it feels more like a tornado.
Those we can’t deal with quite so well.
I’m certain no one would argue the fact that tornadoes are scary. They have the power to level buildings, level towns even…and we have no power whatsoever to do anything but try to hunker down, pray, and wait until it has passed.
Have you ever felt like that in your life?
Like you were just thrown a curveball and are left standing there, wondering what just happened? How do I deal with this?! Scared doesn’t even begin to describe the feeling.
Someone knocks on your door, the doctor walks into the room, the phone rings….and your life is changed forever. It can happen that fast!
As with actual storms, defiance doesn’t work. Walking outside, shaking your fist and screaming at the storm to go away does nothing but make you wet.
Attempting to ignore the storm doesn’t work either. Deciding to plow your garden or mow your lawn or hang your laundry on the line as if the storm isn’t raging around you is foolish…and again, you just get wet.
So, what do you do during a storm? You stay inside where it is dry….and you wait for it to end.
It’s the same thing with the storms of our lives.
Getting angry at the situation does nothing to change it. It just makes us bitter and allows sin to grow.
Acting as though nothing is going on doesn’t diminish the trial one bit. Sometimes storms are sent to get our attention. If we continue to ignore the winds and rain, we may just find ourselves in the middle of a tornado we can’t ignore.
What’s the best thing to do when thunder rolls and rains fall and wind blows through our lives?
We can’t do anything to stop the storm from coming. The sooner we accept that, the better.
Crawl up under the wings of our Lord and let Him weather the storm for you.
He will keep you safe, warm, and dry while everything seems to be falling apart.
The Bible has told us that “all things” work together for good to them that love God.
Storms are included in that little word “all.”
He can (and will!) take the most devastating storms of our life and make something beautiful from the rubble left behind.
All we have to do is surrender.
God is in control, and no storm lasts forever.
Remember that the next time you see the clouds start rolling in.
The stormy days are as much in the hand of our sovereign God as are the days of sunshine, and they each have a purpose.
He knows what He’s doing, and He can handle the situation when you can’t.
After all, He is the Master of the wind and the Maker of the rain.
No matter the intensity or the outcome, you’re safe with Jesus.