Upturned

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After huddling in their cellar for over an hour, Margo and her family were more than ready to get back upstairs where they had air-conditioning, water, and more important, fully functioning bathroom facilities. Upon hearing the siren go off, Margo and her husband each hurried to wake up one of their children and rushed to the basement where they sat awaiting an all clear.

Grateful that they now had a finished office in which to retreat during hazardous storms, they weren’t too uncomfortable. Still, being awakened in the wee hours of the morning was never a pleasant prospect. As Margo tried to make her kids comfortable on the floor, her husband worked to find the local radio station for as update. After some unsuccessful tries, he managed to tune in to their city’s only news station.

On alert now, they all listened intently to the announcer’s broadcast. Seemingly, the balmy weather from earlier on had turned nasty and a tornado was spotted just a few miles south of their property. Heading northeast, the twister could quite possibly pass directly over their house and land.

Margo sat quietly and continued to drink in the news, praying intermittently. She wasn’t exactly frightened, having lived through numerous tornado warnings and sightings throughout her childhood and young adult years, but something about this storm, something in the air felt different.

So, she kept up her prayer vigil. They heard the wind outside gusting, the house shook some, but not what Margo might expect from such a powerfully vicious storm. As she sought the Lord’s peace and protection, her mind wandered back to other such nighttime emergency episodes.

And Margo gave thanks.

I can’t help but shiver when I consider the many trips to the ER we traveled during ice storms, snowstorms, or even monsoon-like downpours. You were always with us, faithfully seeing us to where we needed to be…in safe fashion. Lord, I look back and marvel at your mercy toward us. Thank for you keeping us in your care.

Margo looked at her now-dozing two youngsters and unconsciously smiled.

Ok, her husband informed Margo, the danger’s past, we can go back upstairs now.

Margo picked up one child while her spouse took the other. I wonder, she thought, if we ever realize what a tenuous thread life is? How it truly is God and God alone who holds our world together?

“Behold, we count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.” James 5: 11

Dear Lord,

This night could have been such a disaster, and yet you in your abundant love and mercy kept us safe and secure. I offer my thanks and my gratitude for this blessing. Yet, as I pray these words, I am reminded of others who may not fare as well on this night. The earth can render such power that devastation frequently is the result. Nothing on this plane is one hundred percent certain; the unleashing of brute force is often something beyond any man’s control. And still, you stand ready to offer peace. My heart cannot contain my thanks for this immeasurable gift. What price can I place on such a treasure? It is far and away more precious to me and mine than any offer of material wealth. In years past, I easily recollect the pivotal times where decisions had to be made immediately, and you were there, guiding, offering wise instruction, protecting us from harm. My heart is full to overflowing when I pause and consider your plentiful your mercies have numbered my days and the days of my loved ones. I praise you, Lord. And I ask only for the opportunity to share with others the good you have wrought in my life. Amen.

“People everywhere and at all times have needed a reason to believe their homes were protected, that their places of rest would be undisturbed. But no government established by humankind has ever been able to make that guarantee. And no government ever will.” Steve and Lois Rabey, general editors and Marcia Ford in 101 Most Powerful Promises in the Bible (101 Most Powerful Series)

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