|Garcia's at the Fort Worth Stockyards |
It's been my privilege to be in so many beautiful locations throughout the years, places with an abundance of both natural and manmade appeal.
Most beautiful places give me a feeling of peace inside, but we know lovely scenes are no guarantee of safety. This summer we have seen destruction on a huge scale of areas ordinarily prized for their grandeur and impressiveness.
Where do we go when our protection crumbles or is overcome with flood, fire, wind, or man's evil inclinations?
The first course of action is survival, of course. We do what comes most naturally to escape danger for ourselves and those nearby, and to protect our possessions.
But when all of that is done to the best of our ability and we wait to see what happens next, where do we go in our thoughts?
During Hurricane Irma the time came when our power went out and the weather radio went off, telling us to go immediately to our 'safe place' because tornadoes were nearby. We did that. We grabbed our glasses and shoes and took refuge in the center of our house, away from windows, closing the door behind us.
Not a comfortable room, we sat on the hard tile floor, each in a corner both for the sake of space and for back support, padded with pillows and cushions and blankets tossed over our legs.
There in my corner I knew I had done all I knew to do, all I sensibly could do to prepare myself for disaster and, well, whatever would come. What next?
Of course I prayed. When we come to the very end of ourselves and all that we can possibly do, we call out to the One who is in control of it all. We ask for His mercy and protection. We quote scripture to ourselves, using those very words of our Lord Himself as we speak to Him out of our fear. We tell Him of our trust and dependence on Him, reminding ourselves He has us in His hands and all will be well because we belong to Him. Whether we live or die, He's got hold of us.
All of this was happening while the weather radio continued to repeat the warnings to take cover. How did God respond to us?
We fell asleep! Beloved dozed off first. The power had gone out and it was the middle of the night, so I could not see him at all, but I could hear his gentle snoring. He was asleep! Then sleep overcame me as well.
That was answered prayer! That was God's mercies on us. He enveloped us with such peace that we fell into slumber on the laundry room floor while relying on Him to care for us. We stayed that way for the better part of four hours, until the radio had quieted down from the frantic reports and we sensed daylight was outside the door.
The LORD is my shepherd...
He makes me to lie down...
He leads me beside quiet ...
Even though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death ...
I fear no evil;
for Thou art with me...
Surely goodness and lovingkindness
will follow me all the days of my life.
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
(phrases from the Twenty-third Psalm)
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