I’ve never been afraid of the weather. Never fearful of storms or leery of clouds. But frankly, I don’t trust the sky anymore. Not since the day it tricked me.
It was one of those looks-like-Winter-but-it’s-technically-still-Fall days. Muggy, cool, cloudy and gray. We were a couple weeks out from Daddy’s funeral with just a couple weeks left until Christmas. We’d not done our usual holiday decorating, so it seemed a good day to spruce things up.
Momma, the kids and I spent the morning decorating the long, steep drive up to the farm. We lined it with snowmen and reindeer, and hung our annual “Christmas Greetings” sign to welcome friends. A cold front was scheduled to blow in that afternoon, so we hurried to get’er done.
We were hanging the last two wreaths when the temperature dropped and the rain started. Cold and soaked, we headed inside to change clothes before spending the afternoon down the hill at Momma’s house.
As we headed back out, I paused to lock the door. The rain had stopped and the wind was still, granting the perfect opportunity to cross the pasture with our dryness intact.
Or so we thought.
As we started off in Johnny,(Johnny is our beloved side-by-side Gator; we name everything, remember?), the wind returned with a blast! Rain flew horizontally as the basketball goal crashed behind us. Momma floored it, but rounding the corner of the house we came face to face with our worst nightmare.
A tornado fell out of the sky before our very eyes.
Like water spinning round a drain, the funnel formed faster than our neurons could fire. Touching the ground a mere 100 yards from where we sat, it was on the move and headed straight for us.
For a split-second, we were frozen. Is this really happening? Are we actually seeing what we’re seeing?
Consciousness yanked our collars and we raced for the door– but it was locked! Bolting inside a storage closet, we huddled together and cried out loud to The Father. Oh God of the heavens, save us!!!
Cell phone in hand, I dialed 911. The operator hadn’t a clue a tornado was in town, much less twirling next to my house. There were no watches or warnings in place; no weather advisories or alerts. This twister came out of nowhere.
Momma and I hovered over my babies, praying harder than I think we have ever prayed in our lives. Shaking, we begged God to move the storm away from us and off our land.
After what seemed an eternity, the storm passed. Our homes, barns, animals–our lives– were spared! Sadly, another twister hit a nearby neighborhood, damaging many homes. BUT GLORY TO GOD–not a single person was injured!
I am not exaggerating when I say it was the most horrifying moment of my life. I am literally biting my nails and slightly trembling as I recount this day with you. Our world has been so tumultuous lately. We’ve lost our patriarch, our leader, our protector and provider.
So why, God? With all the chaos, trauma and heartache already going on in our life, why would You allow us to witness such a terrifying scene?
That night as I prayed with and comforted My Girl before bed, I heard His answer come from my own mouth,
“…No harm will come near you; you’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance…” ~Psalms 91:7
Psalm 91 was Daddy’s favorite and one I had been meditating on a lot.
God had allowed us to physically see His power and presence in our life. Our mortal eyes beheld His protection and might.
Only He protected us as we stood face to face with a rain-wrapped tornado. Not chance. Not luck.
Only He shielded us and our farm from what should have been disaster. No man on earth could direct that wind. No plans or policies charted its course. No thing under the heavens calmed the storm. Only God.
He IS in control. He IS all powerful. He IS our only hope. He IS our Strength and Shield. He IS our Refuge and Fortress. I will say it again and again–He IS God!
Friend, maybe you’ve not experienced a real-live tornado like us, but life sure feels like it. Trouble has dropped out of nowhere. Problems spin out of control. Fear is heading straight for you. Sorrow has left a path of destruction. Maybe you doubt whether God is real or if He’s in control or if He even cares at all.
Then take it from a girl who’s seen God’s power firsthand.
My story may sound like an Old Testament tale, but over the past three months I’ve physically experienced Him give and take away, and I can promise you this– He IS Good. He IS real. He IS here with us. With you.
He is sovereign whether we know it, whether we like it or whether we admit it. We may not agree with His timing or plan or what He allows to happen, but we can trust Him. He is mighty to save us if we will let Him.
I may not trust the sky anymore, but my heart is sure of The One who owns it.
“You who sit down in the High God’s presence,
spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow,
Say this: “God, you’re my refuge.
I trust in you and I’m safe!”
That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps,
shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you—
under them you’re perfectly safe;
his arms fend off all harm.
Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night,
not flying arrows in the day,
Not disease that prowls through the darkness,
not disaster that erupts at high noon.
Even though others succumb all around,
drop like flies right and left,
no harm will even graze you.
You’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance…”
~Psalms 91:1-7 (The Message)