Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper.
The weather was near perfect all day Sunday. Sunny blue skies dappled with puffy white clouds. Early evening, we were enjoying an al fresco dinner on our Tuscan terrace covered with grapevines just leafing out.
Anna, our 24 year-old and oldest, shared about a llama she saw the day before at the Green Bay zoo.
“It sneezed and snot flew everywhere. It looked like spaghetti!”
She laughed, thinking the scene quite funny. We all laughed with her.
And then I changed the subject. Abruptly. Because we were eating dinner and the snotting llama image was rather,= unappetizing.
“SOOOO, how’s the weather?”
As I turned from my east-facing chair, I saw something else changing abruptly.
Moving fast from the northwest a dark, ominous wall of clouds was coming right toward us.
Sitting straight across from me, Anna noticed the sky and asked, “Is that rain, Mom? It looks blurry.”
“Yes, Anna, those are sheets of rain and it’s moving this way quickly. Better start clearing the table.”
I stood up and started stacking plates. Everyone else grabbed everything else.
I watched the wall move fast in our direction. Before I left the terrace, the wind came in strong. Then, a few sprinkles. I knew in less than a minute heaven would pour.
“Hurry! Everybody inside!” I directed calmly but firmly as I searched the sky for tails of possible tornados. Tis the season around here.
Our two dogs had disappeared. By our table a few minutes before, they were both gone. I guessed they slipped into the pine forest on our northern edge, either chasing a rabbit or looking for shelter. Somehow dogs know before humans when sudden weather shifts are happening. I worried . . .
This one’s going to be a doozy.
I’ve been in severe thunderstorms. I’ve been in the beginning and tail end of tornados. I’ve seen roofs lifted right off. I’ve seen gigantic trees snapped as if they were twigs, pounding the earth with their fall.
No sooner did we all get in the house, the storm hit hard. Standing by our family room’s french doors, I watched gusty wind move our grill from one end to the other, nearly crashing into the glass, missing by only an inch or so. Deck chairs flipped and landed upside down. Wheelbarrow full of sod tipped and spilled onto our driveway. Rain sheets blurred the windows.
Where are the dogs? It’s Baker’s first birthday! They’re probably scared out of their minds!
Fearful thoughts raced through me. Our horses galloped up from pasture for cover. Heads of peonies bowed low to the ground as if asking God for mercy.
Fear turned to calm as I released all to God of all storms. I remembered Peter on the Sea of Galilee, the same sea I sailed with Todd exactly twenty years ago this month.
Keep your eyes on Jesus! I coached myself. Don’t look at the wind and the water!
There’s something so freeing about letting go of our cares. When circumstances beyond your control come quickly and we don’t know where to go for shelter?
Go to God.
He never fails.
I’ve been through some scary life storms having nothing to do with weather. And here’s what I know—
God has a track record. Come what may, God will be with you to bless you. You may not like particular circumstances or outcomes. But every one is an opportunity to lean into and learn that the One who is trustworthy is always FOR you, never AGAINST you. You can believe that your Maker can and WILL use every—single—circumstance, no matter who horrible it seems in the moment—or day—or months—or years—for YOUR good and the good of all others. Our great and loving God knows EXACTLY what each of us needs to grow us strong and sturdy. And, when all’s said and done, there’s no greater outcome than to KNOW the One who loves you will care for you in his perfect way. Just trust. One day, you will see.
If our greatest desire is God, no sudden storm can destroy. Strong winds and pelting rain will only move us closer to him who loves us more than any. Question is, are we ready? Are we willing for a sudden shift in perspective?
God can heal us with all that could harm us. If we’ll let him change our minds. And our hearts.