Friday, April 13, 2012

A Beast of a Storm


I live near Joplin, Missouri, where about 1/3 of the city was wiped out last year by a tornado. Months ago we visited what's left of the city and the huge St. John's hospital--chewed to the bones by the horrid beasts that whirled through there. The paws of the monster storm wadded vehicles like tissue paper and threw them over the landscape like litterbugs throw trash out of a car window.

Houses disappeared as teeth of the storm chewed hundreds of them down like kernels on a corncob.

Thank the Lord they are rebuilding, but many of the building lots where homes formerly stood now are bare except for a "For Sale" sign.

Today one twister hit Kansas. Thunder rattles our windows here tonight and lightning is writing graffiti in the sky. Uneasiness grips Missourians more than it used to. Devastation like we saw in Joplin makes us realize we should have a plan and be prepared at all times. We have a wonderful neighbor who allows us to go to his basement. Yet, when the sirens go off, we wonder what we should grab when we go and if anything we need will be left when we return.

I had a garage sale recently and tonight as I looked into a closet I asked myself why I didn't sell the big pillows I used to have on my bed with European shams. Than I realized I use those pillows when we go into the bathroom when the sirens go off. Yet, the bathroom isn't safe. I have a huge mirror, a big picture with glass, and glass doors on the bath tub for the shower. I have covered the shower doors with quilts and taken down the mirror and the picture, though, during storm warnings when we couldn't go across the street.

The Lord's disciples got caught in dangerous storm, but they were on the water. Amazing that all Jesus had to say was "Peace. Be still," and the winds stopped rocking the boat and the waves settled down like a big fuzzy dog finding the most comfortable spot on a fluffy scatter rug.

The Lord has settled many emotional storms in my life. The Bible--God's Word--is where I usually hear His voice. My favorite verse right now is John 16:33. Jesus said, "In the world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world."

That is cause for rejoicing. When we get to the other side of trials and tests our faith intact, I probably should rejoice like the folks who stand beside the bare roots of a blown-away home, knowing everything they owned, including their cars, are rubble. Yet they say, "I thank God we're alive. Everything else can be replaced."

When we know the Lord, nothing can destroy us. Jesus said, "Fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28).
* Copyright 2012 Ada Brownell