Not too long ago, we had one of those odd fall/winter thunderstorms. The kind of storm that sends wind and rain screaming across the landscape. The kind that causes the dogs to hide under beds and in closets. The kind of storm that sends me into spasms of anxiety.
Several years ago, we had one of those kinds of storms. Because of where we’re situated in the continental U.S., whenever there’s a major thunderstorm outbreak, it tends to show up at our door in the dead of night. (Why the dead of night? Doesn’t that just sound incredibly ominous?) My husband slept on the couch in the family room so he could check the TV weather alerts every so often. He actually slept though, so I don’t know that any alerts were ever noticed. I, on the other hand, am an extremely light sleeper, thus, the sleeping arrangements should have been reversed. Since sleep didn’t come easily to me that night, I lay in bed, ready to snatch up the kids at the exact moment my husband yelled up at me to hightail it to the basement. I never heard him yell to me (because he didn’t), instead, I heard the train noise that victims say they hear as a tornado approaches. The wind whipped and rain sliced against the house, making it almost impossible to hear anything, yet still, I heard that noise. And while I unslept, debating whether I should wake the kids and take them to the basement, slowly, and yet suddenly, I noticed that my feet were inexorably wet. I jumped up, turned on the lights, and saw water cascading down the light above onto the bed.
And down the door jamb from the bathroom to the bedroom.
And down one wall.
A portion of our roof had blown off, maybe by a small tornado, maybe not, but leaving a hole where water could menacingly make its way into the house. I yelled down to my husband, and we made our way into the attic with buckets and a tarp to protect what we could while the storm still raged.
The damage was repaired in stages, and after several weeks, everything was fixed. Life went back to normal, but to this day, when we get wicked weather, I kind of feel like my dogs must; I’d rather just hide somewhere until it’s all over.
Except… I can’t hide until it’s over. I have to do the responsible, grown-up thing, and weather the storm. Because if something goes wrong, and I’m not there to take care of it, then a bad situation becomes an unmanageable situation. And that’s never a good thing, is it?
That’s just one whole metaphor for life, though: Showing up and doing the responsible thing so whatever’s happening doesn’t go from bad to worse.
Except… while God wants us to do our part, our part just a fraction of what He’s doing in the background. Or up in the clouds in the sky… you know, wherever Heaven physically is. (Maybe that’s a question for another day..)
Because sometimes we just can’t do much beyond praying that He’s got our back. Which of course, He does. Sometimes prayer is all we can do.
The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. 8 The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. Psalm 121:7 & 8
The night the storm ripped our roof off, I did a lot of praying. Pretty much every storm since, too.
And you know, what? God has seen me through each and every storm. Not just the physical, wind-whipping, hail and blizzard kinds of storms; He was there for the financial, health, loss and relationship kinds of tempests too, He’s been by my side through each instance.
Sometimes the storms come precisely so we know to bow our heads, say a prayer, and let God be God.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10