|Picture taken in Kingsport a 30 minute drive from where we live. A tornado was spotted in another part of town last|
night. Photographer was George "Mo" Monroe, and you can see more pictures of lightening strikes from last night here .
I learned several things while waiting with my husband, our 3 year old daughter, and 8 week old son.
First, we should really go through the stuff in that closet and make it to where we can sit comfortably over a long time, or at least so we can fit chairs comfortably. But our daughter was excited to find a favorite video there, although not so excited to discover that we couldn't watch it there. We also learned that eating ice cream can calm a 3 year old very nicely when she's sitting with her daddy (we have a freezer in our basement, and thanks to Mamaw and Papaw she had a little cup with the perfect serving of strawberry swirl ice cream, and daddy had his half gallon of chocolate chip cookie dough courtesy of Breyers to calm him. Mommy is nursing Lil' Feller and he is currently lactose intolerant with acid reflux, so my diet is sans dairy, and pretty much anything flavorful).
Second, there always needs to be a potty. We should never go anywhere without one. In the middle of the storm three-year olds may have the uncontrollable urge to urinate, and it's extremely stressful when they can no longer wait and you have to send your husband daughter upstairs to the bathroom. But I suppose I can be glad when she says she has to take the time to really wash her hands instead of just using hand sanitizer after she's went and my husband's trying to get her to hurry back to the basement.
Thirdly, tornados provide a great teaching opportunity to teach children about God. There is nothing that shows His omnipotence and sovereign power and glory more than a storm that could potentially kill you. We told my daughter again about how God had protected His people Israel (something we had been recently studying) and then the story of Jesus and His disciples on the Sea of Galilee, how we need not fear, because Jesus is with us, but at the same time how easily we do fear the storms instead of fearing the One Who controls the storms as we should.
"And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"-Mark 4:37-41
I was made newly aware of how terrifyingly powerful our God is, and how weak and helpless we all are. The fact that all of us are continually at the constant mercy of God for our very existence. And yet, as I tucked in my babies afterward, and got to talk to our daughter about, how great God's love and mercy and goodness are! The fact that He doesn't leave us in the storm, that He is always there, and even when the worst comes our way, He is still in complete control. That all things are happening only as He wills them, and when we don't understand them, we can trust He does. We can trust that in His perfect wisdom and goodness and love that it was the best right thing for His glory and our good. (Romans 8:28-31 )
After the storm, even though it was way past bedtimes, my husband took us all to the basement door. Me holding Lil' Feller and him holding our Princess, and we watched the storm just beyond us as lightening illuminated the whole sky bright as day when it struck. We stood there in awe of God's power and glory, and yet gratefully in awe of His mercy and grace shown to us there. We gasped and trembled at the thundering of our God's power and "God's light" as our daughter called the lightening. I was almost breathless as my husband said to us, standing there looking at the heavens, that one day our Lord Jesus Christ would be coming in His glory in the clouds and how much more power and glory would be seen then.
This is a song my dad wrote years ago, and it's so timely for those of us waking up after a hard night of storms. It's called "My Lord Might Come Anytime", and I'm reminded of how easily my own heart becomes attached to the things and places here, when all the while I should be working and watching for Him to take me to my real home.
Please pray for those who are waking up and unlike our family have lost loved ones, homes, cars, and are without power and phones, looking for their family and friends unsure of what they will find. Love in Christ.
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