You are at home, eating dinner and looking forward to a relaxing evening with your family, when you suddenly hear tornado sirens go off.
Where do you go?
Maybe a first-floor bathroom? An interior hallway?
On Wednesday evening, as tornadoes began touching down in the Dallas area, hundreds of people in the metroplex were forced to find a safe place.
At our house, we head for the closet under the stairs. It’s a large closet, with plenty of room for the five of us. (Brett jokes of the day when he can turn it into his “man cave.”) Since it’s our designated “safe place,” I keep our weather radio, flashlights, extra batteries, a fan, and a portable DVD player in there for emergencies.
We’ve had to take shelter in the closet several times since we’ve moved here. My kids know the drill—when you hear the sirens, grab your pillow and blanket and meet us in the closet, where we’ll create a comfy nest of pillows, watch a movie, and have some snacks. This routine keeps the kids calm until we get the all-clear from the radar.
Brett sometimes teases me about how fanatical I am about being prepared for storms. (He lived in Oklahoma, where tornadoes pass through as regularly as the ice cream truck.) I think it’s because I want to feel like I’ve got everything under control… even though, obviously, I can't control the weather. There's a reason they call these things "acts of God."
Ever since the first recorded natural disaster—the Flood--God has been reminding us that while we can and should prepare for the storms that come our way, we ultimately have to rest in His grace and trust Him to see us through.
In his book Has Christianity Failed You?, Ravi Zacharias pointed out something that I’d never realized about Noah’s ark:
When Noah was building his ark, God gave him detailed instructions about everything: how high, no higher; how long, no longer; what species to include and in what numbers—details ad nauseum. But when all had been done according to God’s instructions and the door was finally shut, it must have been a terrifying experience to realize there was no sail or rudder on this ark. Who was in control? (emphasis added)
Think about that. If ever anyone was prepared for a storm, it was Noah. After all, God gave him a hundred years to get ready. The ark was Noah’s magnum opus—the culmination of a century of painstaking work in preparation for the greatest storm the world has ever seen. He must have studied the blueprint God gave him over and over as he constructed every detail of the three-story-high, football-field-length vessel. After all, his family was about to spend an entire year aboard this oversized life boat.
Surely Noah must have scratched his head at God’s design for the ark--with no sail or rudder--and wondered, Who’s going to steer this thing?
I’ve felt like that before. When storms of life have come crashing down, flooding me with such worry and fear that I feel like I’m drowning, I’ve wondered, How am I going to get through this? Sometimes I just can’t see past the crashing waves of doubt.
Those are the times when I head for the “safe place” of God’s protection. I grab my Bible and seek shelter in the cleft of the Rock, where God’s promises and presence keep me calm. And even with the storm still raging around me, I finally realize…
What storm are you facing right now?
Whatever it may be--whether a natural disaster or a tempestuous situation--you can cling to this truth:
God is in control.