Tuesday, September 6, 2011


We survived our first hurricane since moving to the East coast.  Being from the Midwest, we were used to tornadoes, but we never worried about hurricanes.  Both storms can be devastating, but they are different.  A tornado strikes quickly, with or without warning, and then is over in a matter of minutes.  The weatherman could often tell us the exact time that the tornado would  pass through our neighborhood.  This gave us enough time to grab the kids and hide under the stairs until the storm had passed.  A hurricane on the other hand, gives you lots of advance warning.  People talk about it for days before it hits.  This gives you plenty of time to prepare.  Time to buy batteries (if there are any left).  Time to buy SPAM and other canned goods.  (If that's what you like to eat.)  Time to fill up the bathtub with water so that you can flush your toilets.  (The kids kept asking, "Why are we doing this?" and I really didn't know other than someone told me that's what I was supposed to do to "be prepared".)  We had time to put away the lawn furniture and move the rabbit to the porch.  We had friends evacuate to our house from their house near the beach.  We waited.  Then the storm came in...slowly.  It started with a light rain.  I went for my run.  Then gradually the winds picked up and the rain came down heavier and heavier.  Then the trees started falling.  No one told me that we could be killed by trees falling on the house.  We don't have trees that big in Oklahoma.  No one told me that we should stay downstairs.  Now I know.  (Luckily our tree snapped in the middle instead of at the roots and it just brushed Will's window instead of landing inside his room where he was playing with three other boys.)
The wind and rain came in waves.  Just when we thought it was over, another band would hit and the storm would rage anew.  It lasted a long time.
Before the hurricane, there was no way to tell which trees would survive the storm and which trees would fall.   Some trees that appeared to be indestructible gave way at the roots and toppled over--crushing cars, power lines, houses, and unfortunately people.  Other trees swayed  and bent with the wind and stood straight again once the storm had passed.  Some, like ours,  were unwilling to bend and snapped in two.   There was no way to see how flexible a tree was or strong the roots were until they were tested by the storm.

Unfortunately, life is full of storms.  (In this world you will have tribulation [ie. storms] John 16:33)  Sometimes the storms will last a long time--chronic illness, a rebellious child, infertility, poverty, depression.  Often the storms come in waves--just when you think things have calmed down, another wave hits.  Jesus says that even though we are guaranteed to face storms in this world, we don't have to live in fear.  Be courageous for I have overcome the world!  He also says that we can have peace in Him.  I am realizing more and more how valuable peace is--not just peace in our nation, but peace in my home.  Jesus said, I leave you with a gift--peace of mind and heart.   The peace I give is a gift the world cannot give (John 14:27).  My peace does not come from a lack of storms in my life.  My peace comes from trusting the one who has already overcome this world.

Do you have peace of mind in the storms of life?  When the storms come, are you willing to bend?  Are your roots strong enough to sustain you?  Can you hang on even if the storm lasts a long time?  When your strength is tested, will you fall or will you stand?

1 comment:

Lauren said...

Wow!! Glad you are all ok. Loved the post..so very true. So thankful we have a Strong Tower to run to when life's storms hit.