Uncertainty, adversity, safety

Published 3:08 pm Friday, March 8, 2019

When Gale and I get ready to take time off, we are never quite sure if we will really get to go or not, and even after we leave town we are not sure if we will get to stay as long as we have planned.   That is part of the preacher’s life, but thankfully things usually work out just fine.  We were grateful that plans went well last weekend as we took time away to celebrate our anniversary.  There was a little adjustment with the room that I reserved, but that worked out too, although we were a bit disappointed when we discovered that our place did not have the kitchen that we expected since we had planned to cook breakfast together on Saturday morning.  That detail did not stop us from having a great time together, though, and the weather was fantastic–we even got a slight sunburn from sitting on the beach.  Not bad for early March!

We started our journey home with new memories fresh on our minds and our bodies relaxed from a couple days away from our usual full daily routines.  But it is rather amazing how emotions can so quickly shift from ease and comfort to uneasiness and stress.  We knew that the forecast included the possibility of thunderstorms, yet the weather remained calm—at least at the moment.  As we traveled homeward and as daylight rapidly faded, the skies became heavy as rain started to shower the car.  As we listened to the radio it soon became obvious that trouble could be looming ahead of us.  All of the joy that my wife had experienced in the previous forty-eight hours started to give way to deep concern when we heard various warnings being given—tornadoes were in the area.

To add to the uneasiness, not only were we on the road in Florida, but our oldest granddaughter was on the way back home from Alabama.  Then the sad news came that not only had some experienced damage from the storm, but there were fatalities.  With concerned hearts we continued to press on toward home.  Then the report came that Jackson County was under a tornado warning—that was the very county we were in at that moment.  There did not seem to be a safe place for us to retreat to, so we kept traveling.

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Finally Gale received word that Mallory had arrived home safely; that was a welcome bit of information.  The rains increased, the wind blew, and warnings continued to come through on the radio.  Then at last, to our great relief, we arrived safely home.  We found everything in good order with no damage, for which we were most thankful.

Sometimes life does take us to places we would not choose on our own and sometimes we move rapidly from joyful to worrisome experiences.  Yet we can always rest assured that God has it all under control.  We do not always understand His choices for our lives, yet we can always be confident that whatever He prescribes is always right.

During a time of tremendous duress for God’s people, the Bible preserves a glimpse into those events in a book of the Old Testament that we know as Lamentations.  The conditions being endured were heart breaking, yet even under those circumstances we are reminded that God never ceases to be in control:  “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord” (Lamentations 3:25-26, New International Version).

When the storms begin to howl and uncertainty is all around, there is but one reasonable thing to do:  wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.  That is a sure path to peace and calm.