On Saturday night, we returned from our church body’s annual conference. Now that I’m back from our week of “vacation”, I am reflecting on God’s comfort and peace. This past week, while at conference, there were several storm systems that came through the west central Minnesota area. Wednesday afternoon some friends and I were in the pool with our kids (while our husbands were at meetings) and we were quickly called out of the pool and into the hallway for 45 minutes while a storm system with tornado warnings passed over us. Needless to say, I wasn’t dressed for the situation, so I hurried into our room and changed and then brought out some toy cars for my son and some of the other kids to drive up and down the halls while we waited for the warning to pass. Funnel clouds were spotted and it rained pretty hard, but after the 45 minutes was up, we were allowed to go back to our rooms. It was actually kind-of fun visiting with people in the hallway while our children played.
On Thursday evening, my husband and I were at a pastor’s and wives banquet a couple of miles away from the convention site at a church with big picture windows. As we looked out at the darkening sky, we were advised to hurry and finish our meals in case of “inclemet weather”. We were soon instructed to go to the hallway of the church, and then a few moments later advised to go back to our hotel as soon as possible. Yet another tornado warning, this one with a tornado spotted 10 miles south of us. We quickly ran to our van and drove back to the hotel, but not before I stopped to look at the sky. It was black and green, with a large blue streak in between the higher and lower clouds (a sign of an approaching funnel cloud apparently). It was windy and humid and rain drops started falling as my husband hurried me into the van. If I wasn’t a little nervous about getting back to our kids (who were staying with grandpa & grandma at the hotel) I would have thought about how “awesome” the sky looked and the beauty in the storm. As we drove, the wind suddenly gusted and the rain started to fall sideways. There was a little hail too!
When we returned to the hotel, we turned on the news. The management of the hotel called us, and after another 15 minutes in the hallway (with people singing hymns of comfort), we went back into our room to watch the rain pour and lightening flash. A tornado had touched down near our area, but missed us by a few miles. If only I had some pictures of the sky…
All this made me think about God’s comfort in the storms of life. It sounds cliched, I know, but think of the fear and distress many were feeling as they listened to the tornado sirens, hearing the wind and rain crash onto the steel roof of the building while watching a thick black sky out the window. When storms roll into our lives, do we go to the One who has power to create or still the storm?
“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.” Psalm 107: 28-30
Once the storm passed, there was a very present sense of calm among those in the hallway with us. Voices became relaxed. Conversations were no longer filled with tense words. Everyone smiled, grateful that God had allowed the storm to leave us unharmed.
“Be still and know that I am God.”