“So do not fear; for I am with you…” Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
The storm clouds were raging all across our state!
That is often a typical summer day in this middle of the country we live in. Most of the afternoon one of the network channels had suspended their regular programming to broadcast information about the inclement weather. Over and over we watched the radar light up its vivid multicolor from the wind, rain, hail, and lightning in the storms.
So, we were not surprised when storm watches and warnings reached us in the Northeast part of the state. Already I had been praying for God’s protection as we made the appropriate preparations for a time like this. My husband, Jerry, went out on the front porch to observe as the clouds grew darker in the skies. From there he could actually hear the tornadic winds high in the clouds.
Our seven-year-old granddaughter, Mary Kathryn, soon sensed our apprehensions. With her usual quiet, gentle spirit she came to me and asked me to pray with her. I gathered her close in my arms and asked God to put his protective angels around our family and keep us safe from the storms.
Soon the tornado sirens began to sound their alarm. Their long and loud sound just heightened the fear I had begun to see in Mary Kathryn’s eyes.
Memories began to surface as I was reminded of a similar situation many years ago. Jerry was a young college student at that time. We were newlyweds living on campus when a giant storm began to brew in the dark night.
There were no weather channels and no sirens back in those days. But there, also, was no mistaking the ferocious winds with a noise that sounded much like a giant train coming through our back yard. I still remember the comfort and protection I felt in my husband’s arms as he gathered us in our small hallway until the storm had passed over.
When Mary Kathryn returned to my arms asking me to pray with her again, I realized she needed the same comfort and protection I had felt that stormy night long ago. I took her sweet little face, with the anxious eyes, between my hands. Right there in the middle of the huge storm we were in, I asked God to remove Mary Kathryn’s fear, and to replace that fear with peace.
She unwrapped herself from my arms and went back to the shelter that we had prepared for them in the hallway. Picking up her game that she had taken to the shelter with her, she began to play with her sister, Faith.
Right before my eyes I saw the fear disappear. The storm still clapped with thunder and the tornado sirens rang out again, but I saw only peace on Mary Kathryn’s countenance.
Soon she came from her little corner of the shelter, hugged me and said, “Thank you grandma for praying. God has answered our prayer! I am not afraid anymore.”
Mary Kathryn’s child-like faith was much increased that stormy day as she literally lived out Isaiah 41:10 (NIV) “So do not fear; for I am with you…” became a reality neither of us would soon forget.
“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” – Psalm 27:1
Melva Cooper firstname.lastname@example.org