Tag Archive | storm

God, where are You?

walking in snow walking in snow2
‘Ever wonder if God is really there? You pray and there’s silence.
Sometimes, it seems a prayer goes unanswered. Other times, the answer isn’t what was expected.

Am I the only one who asks God for help and proceeds to tell the Creator of the universe exactly how to answer?

Recently, God provided precisely what I requested.

A winter storm hit our area. Meteorologists predicted sizable snow accumulations and blustery winds. Those forecasts didn’t deter Chris from his plans. Before the first snowflake, our son headed out to a bowling alley seven miles away. His intention: to walk home.

Chris proceeded to leave, carrying a huge backpack.
Howie offered, “I’ll drive you home.”
“No, I wanna walk home.”
Howie didn’t repeat the offer. No point disputing Chris’s decision. Arguing with someone who has mental illness (MI) isn’t a good idea…reasoning with him isn’t usually possible.
Although rejecting the assistance made no sense, Chris’s mind was set.

At nightfall, the storm arrived with a vengeance. Gusts of wind created white-out conditions.

I couldn’t get the image of Chris out of my mind. I pictured him trudging alone, in the dark, on the side of a snow-covered road. Thoughts of cars creeping by on slick surfaces tormented me.
Will drivers see him in the dark? What if a car spins out of control right next to him?

I calculated how long it would take to walk seven miles in good weather. Two hours, at least. But, battling defensive linebacker- strength winds could make it much longer. The journey could take close to four hours.

“Howie, please pray for someone to offer Chris a ride home.” With bowed heads, we lifted up our hearts.

The night wore on. I couldn’t sleep. What mother can sleep not knowing what’s happening to her vulnerable child who has MI? Midnight came. Still no Chris. 1:00… 2:00…

Will I hear the front door open or the phone ring?

Finally, at 2:45 AM the door opened, telling me Chris returned home safely.

The next day, Chris told Howie someone at the bowling alley offered him a ride. He turned it down.

Where was God when Chris rejected the second offer?
He was providing His answer to our specific prayer: for someone to offer Chris a ride.

Surely, God knew we meant that we wanted our son to be spared the ice-cold trek home.
But, God demonstrated His ever-present care for our son. He moved in the heart of the person at the bowling alley. He honored Chris’s free will. And protected Chris as he trudged home in a storm.

It’s hard to understand why anyone would reject help and willingly choose to venture out into a storm. Yet, isn’t that what we do? We ignore God’s presence in our troubles. God says, “I’m here for you.” We respond, “No thanks…I’ve got it. Never mind…I know the way. I can handle this myself. “

We head into the storm, rejecting God’s assistance. Our Father knows how my husband felt when Chris declined his offer. He knows what it’s like to watch us as we struggle needlessly on our own.

God promised Moses and Joshua He’d be with them. With that promise, Joshua was able to assure his people.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).”

When you face a river of uncertainty, can you hear the words God spoke to Joshua? The Lord your God goes with you. Do you hear Him beckoning you to walk with Him?

Will you stagger alone, or stroll with your Lord?

Listen to Him call you as you watch Alan Jackson perform the song ‘In The Garden.’

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Hurricane

Hurricane Sandy seen moving towards the east coast of the US in this NASA satellite image taken on 10-29-12

Yesterday, a friend and I drove towards the approaching Hurricane Sandy.

Dubbed “Frankenstorm”, the storm promised to be large, powerful, and dangerous. The ingredients were enough to impress meteorologists and terrorize residents along the northeast coastline of America. The 2nd largest hurricane ever would cross land in the most populated part of our country.  A powerful Jetstream from the west and a high in the north would create a wind tunnel. Increasing the storm’s intensity.

The storm was predicted to hit our area on Monday. But, a hurricane that has tropical storm-force winds extending out to 520 miles can pack a punch even from a distance. As we drove home toward the Philadelphia area, we were grateful the wind and rain weren’t too bad.

So, why would my friend and I even think of venturing out Sunday afternoon? We wanted to connect with other families who would understand what it’s like to have a loved one with mental illness (MI).

We know there are other moms like us who have a child with mental illness. But, we wanted to meet other courageous families who know exactly what our lives are like. So, we traveled 82 miles to attend a support group meeting at No Longer Alone Ministries. Attending their Christian support group meeting was our motivation.

We left feeling blessed and encouraged. Those who attended the meeting inspired us. They told stories of how they cling to their faithful Father in the midst of deep sorrow and grief.

Each day, they live in the midst of a storm.

Some experience swirling winds of emotions, and crashing violence. Some spoke of the impact MI had on finances.

Others face an eerie silence from a once vibrant child.

All expressed an awareness of the challenges of a storm: unpredictability of their situation, loss of power, disruption of normalcy, uncertainty of the future, and destruction of lives.

All offered testimony to how God has provided. Surely God can be found in the storms of life.

Exodus 24:12 tells us the Lord invited Moses to, “Come up to me on the mountain and stay here…”

That’s His invitation to us. Moses heard God speak from within the cloud.

We, too, can hear God speak to us inside our clouds. Listen to His promises.

As I watch scenes on TV which show the power of the storm, I’m reminded of God’s power and provision. His people wandered in the wilderness and God provided for their needs. Food rained down from heaven in such abundance that it couldn’t be counted.

“He let loose the east wind from the heavens and by his power made the south wind blow. He rained meat down on them like dust, birds like sand on the seashore.”  Psalm 78:26-28

That same God will provide for our needs as we journey in our wilderness.