Saturday, June 30, 2012

Land Hurricanes and "The One Who is Always Present"

On my journey toward being more wise I have learned that there are things I cannot control - many things, most things.   I was reminded of this earlier this week when we experienced a land hurricane (or durecho); winds to the east of us were clocked at 91 mph.  For any male readers who are asking, "Do they make these terms up as they go?"  I'm told that land hurricanes (or durechos) have been so named since 2010 but I have spent no time in verifying this fact.

Several years ago I wrote a devotional about The One who can control things.  I will share that a little later on.  Before that I would like to share what I was doing during the land hurricane and what my children were doing.  Imagine the thoughts and feelings of this mother's heart.

Grandma is staying with us.  She recently had a stroke and struggles to say what she wants to.   She needed to take care of some things at her doctor's office.  Initially I was planning to take the girls along and do some errands while "in town" (the larger town about 8 miles to the west where we do most of our business).  As the day progressed I realized their constant chatter was making it more difficult for Grandma to speak.  That combined with thoughts of the small waiting area at the doctor's office and deciding the nature of the visit wouldn't be appropriate for young ears, I decided to take Grandma to her doctor's office and leave the girls at home.

If I had been on my computer at all that morning, I would not have made that decision.  If I had watched any news that day I would not have made that decision.  But I worked around the house, fed my family, etc. oblivious to the building storm - totally ignorant of pending danger.

I headed toward the doctor's office and commented about the dark sky but still had no idea how serious the coming storm would be.    We continued driving, the sky continued darkening.  Our area is experiencing a drought, so I'm thinking of the coming refreshment still naive of any possible danger.  My first warning sign was when the wind blew my car significantly.  Shortly after that one of the traffic lights was out.  And then the rain started, blinding at times.  I told Grandma we should go to my sister-in-laws house (where Grandma normally lives) and wait out the storm.  She agreed and we headed that direction but were stopped by a downed tree.  Thanks to the new one way road near the hospital, the only way to get around the tree and get to my sister-in-law's house was to go back out to the highway and deal with panicked drivers, wind and darkened traffic lights.  I thought about taking Grandma to one of the many waiting rooms on "medical row" but realized we would have to fight the rain to get inside to safety.  Instead we decided to find a parking space (away from trees) and just wait.

We watched the storm.  I wondered how soon it would reach my children at home.  And then the call from home came.   But... wait for it... wait for it... the storm took out our cell connection!  I was ten miles away from my children with no way to call them or call anyone else to help them.  I could not drive to them without driving through the storm and putting myself and Grandma in further danger.  There was absolutely nothing I could do!  Nothing but pray!  And pray I did!  The storm subsided, we headed home and the girls were fine.  They weren't even scared, proving that yes, sometimes ignorance is bliss. 

This experience taught me that I am too independent, depending too much on my own wisdom and my own strength.  It also reminded me how dependent I have become on my cell phone.   And most of all I was reminded that God was not surprised by the storm and he was not weakened by it.  He wasn't operating without power, without cell connections and with any trees down in His way.  He still had "the whole world in His hands." 

May you be encouraged by this message from Isaiah.  

Isaiah 58:11

The LORD (LORD in capital letters is the personal name of Jehovah God. It probably means “The One Who is Always Present” (The Revell Concise Bible Dictionary) I picture large hands holding me.  Wherever I go I am in God’s hands.  If I fail and fall, I am still in God’s hands.  A hymn states, “While all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care and everywhere that man can be, Thou, God, are present there.)

 Will Guide you ALWAYS; (God’s guidance isn’t hampered by power outages, software glitches or inaccurate human input.  It doesn’t have to be weakened or altered to go through prison walls, hospital walls or soldiers' barracks.  It doesn’t have to be turned off on airplanes or in waiting rooms.)

 He will SATISFY your needs in a sun-scorched land
 (Picture the driest desert.  God not only satisfies our every day needs, but also our intense deep needs that no other resource can satisfy.)

And will STRENGTHEN your frame.  (When I am tired, I sometimes feel like my bones are rubber.  God strengthens my frame and makes my bones firm for the task.)

 You will be like a well-watered garden, (A well-watered garden is beautiful, flourishing, vibrant and fruitful.  I can be all those things with my ever-present God.)

 Like a spring whose waters never fail. (Water has energy and life-giving abilities.  God can give me that energy in unending supplies.)

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