It started out as just another day. Hot and humid, I had spent the day attending to the needs of my young family and I was exhausted.
When I picked up my older children from school I noted the sky. Electrical storms were common in our area, and throughout the day there had been signs of an impending storm: accompanying rain would bring welcome relief from the dayís heat. On this particular day the sky was an incredible shade of green the likes of which I had never seen before. Thinking what an awesome Creator we have, I strapped the children into their car seats and prepared to make the short journey home.
Partway home things changed. Where only moments before there had been views of bush and farmland, now I could see nothing through the rain-lashed windscreen. Dimly aware that the force of the wind was bending in half the trees lining the road and whipping them against my car, I struggled to see the road, searching for a sign or marker.
With each moment that passed, my fear increased. My children, wide-eyed and afraid, looked on as I repeatedly called on Jesus to save us. Unable to see and afraid of being hit by oncoming traffic, I drove slowly, looking for our street. A short break in the rain enabled me to see a side street on my left and I pulled into it. A few turns and I arrived at a friendís house. Not daring to stay in the car, I grabbed the children and ran to the front door seeking refuge from the storm.
As quickly as the storm had hit, it passed over and I was able to carefully make my way home. The sights that met my eyes were unbelievable: trees uprooted, branches strewn across roads, buildings damaged, and, once home, mud-splattered walls where the wind had blown rain and debris in through partially open windows.
Shaking, I wondered if my eldest son had survived the storm. At school he had asked to go to a friendís house and I had readily agreed. Thinking now of the destruction I had witnessed I shuddered to think of the havoc the storm must have caused on the highway on which he would have traveled. A friend sat with me while I waited for news, and it was with relief that I heard my son was safe.
It wasnít until later that I learnt that our area had been hit by a tornado and that as I traveled home that day I had been heading towards it. I marveled: five lives in a car in the direct path of a tornado yet not one hair on our heads had perished.*
A modern-day miracle.
Two thousand years ago there was a similar storm. Out on the water, the disciples were afraid and fearing for their lives, while their friend slept in the bottom of the boat. Perhaps they knew that hundreds of years before the Psalmist had written that lightening and hail, stormy winds and rain all do His bidding. ** But it was not faith or understanding that motivated the disciples and caused them to wake their friend, but fear. Jesus stood and commanded the wind and the waves to be still and they heard His voice and obeyed. ***
That day the disciples witnessed a miracle.
I suspect the disciples felt thankful that their lives had been preserved that day. I suspect they marveled at the miracle they had seen with their own eyes. I suspect they couldnít wait to tell others of what had happened.
Because that was how I felt.
After the tornado, stories abounded of Godís marvelous protection. Friends who remained behind at school reported seeing trees blown down between cars, missing every car in the school car park. Another friend in a car sat and watched as signs and trees were ripped up and flung across the road, miraculously avoiding the long line of cars that had pulled off to the side.
A family from school felt compelled to move their children into another part of the house just moments before trees smashed through the roof and onto the sofa they had so recently vacated. Despite the millions of dollars worth of damage to the area as a result of the tornado that hit that day, not one life was lost.
What a feel-good praise report. Thanks so much for writing this. It is an awesome picture of God's love and sovereignty. Best of all, you encourage others to call on the name of Jesus in times of trouble - like you did and like Peter did his troubled waters, "Jesus save me!" :-)Love it!