I don’t want to be “the Mom” today -- the adult, the decision-maker, the one in charge, the one with calm and reassuring answers to fear-filled questions, the one who must rise this morning to face the aftermath of seven and a half inches of rain falling in less than two hours yesterday, flooding streets and basements, turning freeways, runways and parking lots into holding ponds and creating a sink hole that swallowed a stop light and a full-size SUV!
As three of my kids and I left the mall late yesterday afternoon, an eerie sky loomed in the west. Minutes later, fat mid-summer raindrops splattered the windshield, gaining momentum and quickly obscuring even the tail lights in front of us. “Mom,” asked my youngest daughter clearly worried, “can you see at all?”
“Enough,” I assured her, but the puddles were growing into pools and the farther we drove the worse it got. At one intersection, a river of water, mud and gravel surged across the road nearly bumper high. We made it through, but barely, and at the next intersection two men stood waist-deep in floodwater, waving their arms in warning. We couldn’t go back and we clearly couldn’t go on, so I did the only thing that came to mind and pulled my van into a stranger’s driveway, not out of the water, but still only inches deep.
“Leave everything in the van,” I told my kids, “and let’s go! We’re walking home!” Reaching for my youngest daughter’s hand, we crossed the road, and plunged thigh-deep into the culvert. In one sickening glance, I noticed my oldest daughter immobilized, shoes in hand, eyes wide, afraid to move, afraid to follow us one step into the floodwater. We didn’t have time for fear. We needed to climb the hill and get out of the storm. So I yelled her name, caught her eye, grabbed her hand, and dragged her in behind us. We were going home, and we were going there together. Then the sirens sounded.
“Mom,” yelled my terrified youngest child, “what are we going to do?”
“Keep walking,” I shouted, squeezing her hand. “Just keep walking.”
“Lord,” I pleaded, “are You kidding? Tornado sirens? Really??? Now?” If I hadn’t been living it, I’d never, ever have believed it.
Finally home, the night became a blur of sirens and severe storms. By morning, I was completely exhausted and had no desire to be in charge, but my husband was in Denver, one daughter had been stranded overnight with friends, and my oldest son had landed in Chicago en route from Guatemala and his third short term mission trip. Somebody had to be in charge and the only relatively qualified candidate was me.
Then I heard God whisper tenderly to my soul, “Oh, My weary child, rest in Me. My yoke is easy and My burden is light,” and suddenly the sufficiency of His love burst into brilliance, buoying my spirit and radiating light -- just enough light -- for my very next step. Just keep walking, I heard in my heart. It was enough, so much more than enough. It was exactly what I needed, for God absolutely always is!