Daniel stepped in to assist Jason and Joey, the 17 year old Parker twins and Mr. Parker hold steady the large doors that lift up allowing access to a room below where they would all be safe from the approaching storm. As the last person stepped down the stairs, Daniel followed him in securing the lock on the door behind him.
Twenty two people in all, old and young, sat around the poorly lit, dank room watching the dust trickle down from cracks in the pounding storm doors. Mothers stroked their children’s heads as they huddled close, shivering and whimpering with fright. Some prayed continuously begging God for mercy, some hummed hymns finding peace in the worship, and some just sat quietly waiting it out in wonder, knowing in time it would pass.
Relentlessly the tornado furiously crawled across the countryside slapping at the ground, ripping out fence posts, smashing large barns, pulling animals, semi trucks, and children’s toys up in its funnel, consuming anything and everything in its path, showing no mercy.
Finally when all was quiet Daniel warily climbed the steps up to the cellar doors cautiously pushing them against the light of day. One by one they silently crept out, each surveying the damage left in the wake of the storm. Then without hesitation they fell to their knees and thanked God for His mercy in safely seeing them through.
It isn’t always easy to understand the storms that daily whip down upon our lives. Why a tragic unexplained accident happens or your beloved family pet suddenly dies, or you’re left in a horrifyingly dark arena. One might ask “Where is God in this?” Well while grief and sadness are emotions we were given and are expected to feel, I would encourage you not wonder where God is, instead KNOW He is there! Know by faith that everything God does is perfectly planned. We may never know the why but we can most certainly believe God is not surprised by anything. God is always there to shelter us, to comfort us and to encourage us. God has put people in our lives, our church family to console us, to support us, and to rally together to pray with and for us.
We need to be alert and aware, the Bible tells us in 1Peter 5:8 Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Resist him standing firm in the faith.
We need to remember we will suffer but suffering does not separate us from Christ. Romans 8:37-39 says, In all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Lord thank you for these promises, thank you for the trials that strengthen us and fortify our faith in You Dear Jesus, please continue to encourage us to keep our eyes on You, Father, showing us the truth the light and the way.
James 1:2, 3 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.