The Thanksgiving Tree

The Thanksgiving Tree

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Weakened by the Storm

He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" Mark 4:40

It's the silence after the storm. The tornadoes have gone for now. I am listening to the hum of my laptop. I faintly hear a man reporting the weather from the television in my bedroom. Still, it's silent. What a storm we had today.

As I survey my den, it seems as if a tornado touched down inside our home. There are piles and piles of coats and jackets lying on our dining room table from the coat closet. Tons of game boxes and bins of books are outlining our staircase. We pulled everything out because the closet under our stairs is our make-shift "safe place"; a term I've come to understand since moving to Alabama. I'm not used to these severe weather storms. I'm not used to having a "tornado season". But the tornadoes don't care. They continue to come whether I like it or not; whether I'm used to it or not. And today was no exception.

My precious husband had to work. My selfish heart complained. He is ALWAYS working during these things... always. Then, I was reminded by a dear friend tonight what a gift he must be to someone injured in a crisis like this--to a child... to a fearful parent. He is so gracious and compassionate. Perhaps the Lord assigns him these evenings. To minister to those hurting. Selfishly, I want him, here, ministering to ME during the stress.

So as the five of us huddled in our tiny coat closet praying for protection for "daddy" and those out in this storm, I was moved to tears as I listened to the simple, faithful prayers of our children.

Will: "Lord, keep Daddy safe and the people hurt in this storm."
Josh: "Jesus, please stop this storm and say, quiet."

Please stop this storm and say, "quiet".

I had not handled this evening well at all. I thought about those disciples on that boat....Teacher, don't you care if we drown? I had operated in complete fear during the entire thing. Feeling alone and responsible for four little innocent children, I responded to everyone and everything in panic mode. Placed in my very own hands was now an opportunity to exemplify faith amidst fear. What it means to trust when terrified. Instead, I cowered and lacked courage. The storm inside of me was raging and overflowed out of my mouth. Not just three days ago, I had celebrated Jesus's resurrection. I celebrated His life among us. I celebrated the veil torn. I celebrated His being with me now and always... every minute... through every circumstance. I celebrated His victory in all things. I felt like Peter once the rooster crowed that third time. I denied who Christ claims to be; my protector, my Savior, my comforter, my Prince of Peace. I sit here humiliated by my hypocrisy. I feel rebuked by the Lord as the disciples were.

Do you still have no faith?

I wish I had this great response to this question. I don't. I don't know why I am so easily frightened. Maybe because I'm a sinner saved by grace. Because I need Jesus for every second.. I can't NOT be afraid on my own. It's so hard for me not to assume Jesus is snoozing when crisis occurs in my life. That He's forgotten. That He doesn't care if I drown or not? Yet, it is His grace that causes me to "wake him up"--to look for him in the storm-- and it's His grace that forgives me when I feared He wasn't there. I'm clinging to that tonight. I stood upon those promises as I repented to my children on behalf of my behavior.

I am from South Carolina. We appreciate the hurricanes--those horrible storm systems notified a week in advance. The storms in which we pack up all of our belongings and escape...flee the fear.... avoid the panic. But Life is full of tornadoes. Unexpected storms. Unexplainable paths. Unpredictable damage. As believers of Christ, Jesus is always in our boat! As celebrators of our Risen Lord, He is NEVER asleep! He sees us. Always. The Christ whose power rebukes the winds and the waves with, "Quiet! Be still!" is able to speak the same over our raging, fearful, faithless hearts.

We then find our rest. Better yet, we find forgiveness for allowing our faith to be weakened by the storm.

My friend, we are deeply and dearly loved.

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