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Simple Prayers, Sleepless Nights, and the Storms that Be

storm of 2013 porch

Ted the lab, inspecting a windblown porch

After the unseasonably warm temperatures yesterday, I was aware of the high winds and storms forecast for last night.

As God and I chatted before I turned in for the night, I was more intentional than usual about asking for His protection for all who might find themselves in the path of the predicted weather.

And then I couldn’t sleep.

My divine chat turned into an extended conversation. Among the many topics eventually addressed, I found myself repeatedly revisiting my appeal for God’s covering for the dangerous winds that seemed to be gathering just outside my windows: prayers of safety for my grown children living away from home, for extended family, for neighbors and complete strangers–and of course for Brian and myself, our home, and all of our animals.

Just after I finally drifted off to sleep, about 3:30 this morning, Brian awakened me, saying he didn’t think it was safe to be upstairs. I was in quite the stupor, even as I heard the howling of winds like I’ve rarely heard in my life.

I stumbled down the stairs into our dining room, along with Brian and the dogs. We had no power and were having a hard time getting enough signal on our cell phones to learn the extent of the heavy winds and rain bearing down on us.

But you know something I did have? Peace. Amid the violent thrashing and torrential downpour–even as Brian said sparks were flying when a tree limb collapsed onto the power lines just outside our window, I was completely calm. Honestly, part of my tranquil state may have been due to how exhausted I was.

Yet there was something more to my peace: I was confident that my fate–and that of my family–was in Almighty God’s hand.

Georgia texted from her apartment in town. She became our eyes and ears during those critical moments, saying a tornado was being reported in our area.

The deluge passed on quickly enough, and in the light of day we confirmed we suffered only minimal damage.

Yet the more I look around our property, and the more I learn of the confirmed tornado, 115 mile per hour gusts trampling several buildings and vehicles just two miles from our home–the more I’m aware of the covering that God did provide for us and for our community.

Based on the evidence in my own yard, I can’t explain why there wasn’t more damage here. Except that God’s hand covered homes and lives all around, including ours.

So today, along with so many others who huddled in basements, bathtubs, and interior rooms within their homes, I’m exhausted! But I’m also thankful. Not that a storm’s random pattern spared so many, but that we are children of a God who delivers us from some storms–and is present and able even as we are in the midst of other storms.

I’m thankful for the gift of intimate chats and lengthy conversations with the God of the universe–who’s also my Father, my Protector, and my Advocate.

I’m also grateful to be a working member of a divinely-empowered Body, even in simple prayers on sleepless nights.

storm of 2013

several downed branches among the power and telephone lines

 

storm of 2013

downed limb on power line, bringing the phone line down with it

Be merciful and gracious to me, O God, be merciful and gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge and finds shelter and confidence in You; yes, in the shadow of Your wings will I take refuge and be confident until calamities and destructive storms are passed.

 

Be not afraid of sudden terror and panic, nor of the stormy blast or the storm and ruin of the wicked when it comes [for you will be guiltless], for the Lord shall be your confidence, firm and strong, and shall keep your foot from being caught [in a trap or some hidden danger].

 

. . . The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.


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