Sirens began their eerie scream as the sky turned dark and the clouds began to undulate in the currents of the wind. Kids hurried home from the apartment playground while worried mommas called their names. I grabbed our upstairs neighbor — another seminary student — and convinced her to stay with us until the tornado passed.
We huddled in an extra walk-in closet that had been designated as our storm shelter during our tenure in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The kids pulled blankets up under their chins and cuddled in one big heap beneath my arms. I was terrified, but I couldn’t let them know. They were counting on me to keep them safe.
And I was counting on God.
The apartment shuddered against the wind. The electricity blinked off and the flashlight was quickly turned on. The kids began to whimper, and I began to sing:
“For God’s love takes good care of me. For God’s love takes good care of me. When the wind blows, the rain falls, and the storm is on the sea, I feel safe. God’s love takes care of me.”
A tear escaped my closed eyes and I squeezed my babies a little tighter.
“Sing it again, Momma. Sing it again.”
And I did.
Over and over until the tornado passed us by. It had touched down on the edge of the apartment grounds, then lifted, and shifted northwest where it touched down again miles away.
It’s odd how we remember things — those milestones of faith when we know that we know our God intervened on our behalf.
That memory popped up when I read something the Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 7:5-6b:
We were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears. Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us …
Outside were conflicts, inside were fears …
But God comforted them.
Those are the words that got my attention because I could relate on so many levels and I could see that image clearly. Can you? Are you in a time when the enemy is just pounding away leaving your insides torn up with fears and doubts?
It’s okay to feel downcast.
Just don’t stay there.
Even David had times of feeling downcast. He said these very words in Psalm 42:5:
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
Did you notice how David admitted the problem, but then he encouraged himself in the Lord. “Put your hope in God!” he told himself. He proclaimed that no matter what, he would still praise his God and put his trust in his Savior.
That’s an example for us.
The longer I sang that simple little song of praise while hiding in our closet, the safer we felt. God inhabited our praises. His presence gave us courage and bathed us in peace.
Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.
But our God …
Our magnificent God …
Our good, good Father …
He comforted us.
Thank you so much for stopping by. I would love for you to share what’s on your heart in the comments below. Scroll a little farther down and you’ll see where you can leave your comments. Together, we can find the nearness of God in our darkest moments.
Sweet blessings to you,