By Debra Whittington
I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him and delivereth them. Psalm 34:1-4, 7
The rain was coming down so hard I couldn’t see the road in front of us. The windshield wipers were running at maximum speed and still they couldn’t keep up with the pouring rain. Flashes of lightning illuminated the dark sky. Ahead of us a vehicle turned on their flashers to warn others behind them. Hail started beating down on the pickup creating a roaring thud inside. Thankfully it wasn’t a large hail that would damage the pickup, but it was bad enough to unravel my nerves.
What began as a pleasant day spent in Amarillo was turning into a nightmare. As we left town we could see there was a storm ahead of us. As we got closer, the sky grew blacker and blacker and lightning lit up the twilight sky. We knew the storm was approaching, but there was no way around it. Staying where we were wasn’t an option so we continued on into the unknown.
A little rain was nothing to get excited about, but this was much more than a gentle spring rain. This was a full-fledged thunderstorm with the potential for tornados. With each flash of lightning I searched the skies for a possible tornado. In between flashes, I glanced over at Mark who was driving. I could tell he was struggling to see the road while at the same time looking out for vehicles ahead. He couldn’t risk stopping because it could cause a potential wreck. All he could do was slow down and keep going.
With the fear that was enveloping me there was only one thing to do: pray. First I prayed for Mark that the Lord would wrap His loving arms around him and help him to drive safely. Then I prayed for the other drivers who were on the road around us that they too would drive safely. Knowing the danger of a possible tornado or wreck, I even prayed for those around us that didn’t know Jesus as their Savior that they would come to know Him.
I was so busy praying for others when all of a sudden I realized I wasn’t scared any longer. Although we were still in the middle of the storm and possible danger, I felt a calm, peaceful assurance that everything would be all right.
Eventually the rain let up and we were out of the storm and close to home. The rest of the trip was wonderfully uneventful. As we drove into our driveway, I silently offered a prayer of thanksgiving for a safe trip home. Later, I shared with Mark how I prayed for him and others as we were going through the storm. He told me how grateful he was for my prayers.
I once heard a preacher say that we are either about to go into a storm of crisis in our lives, are in the middle of a storm, or are just coming out of a storm. Another thing he said was we are closest to the Lord when we are in the midst of a storm. I fully agree with that statement as I experienced it first hand. Just as the Psalmist commented, the Lord is right there to help in times of need and fear.
When everything is going smoothly, we don’t think about the storms of life. On the particular day I mentioned, I didn’t have a care in the world. The only time I paused to think about the Lord was when we stopped to eat. We always ask a blessing on our food no matter where we are at the time. However, the rest of the day, He was far from my mind.
I don’t look forward to the storms that spring up in my life, but I am thankful that I don’t have to go through them alone. From each storm I survive I learn a valuable lesson that helps me to grow in my spiritual life. As I emerge from each one I praise the Lord for seeing me through. Sometimes I wonder if I praised the Lord more would I go through fewer storms? I don’t think that is the case so I guess I should prepare for the next storm to come my way.