The Storm Coming Home

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On our way back home from Rochester and Mayo, on the Interstate, we ran smack dab into a horrendous rainstorm. I mean, the kind of dumping-buckets-can’t-see-out, wipers on high speed kind of rain. We have a weather radar feature on our console, and we could see that the system wasn’t moving – it was stalled over us. Some of the other cars had pulled over onto the shoulder. If we pulled over, we would be there for who knows how long.

I want to preface the rest of what I’m writing by saying that my husband was driving, and he is a very good driver, as well as a common-sense, good-guy-to-have-in-an-emergency kind of husband, for whom I am very grateful.

While I was glad I didn’t have to drive through this mess, sitting in the passenger seat presented its own challenges. I wasn’t in control. I was in the second-guessing seat. “Shouldn’t he slow down just a bit more?” “Maybe we should pull over like these other guys did.” “Shouldn’t he adjust those wipers up a smidge?”

I didn’t voice any of those thoughts. I vocalized agreement with his comments. I prayed.

I thought of Peter, when he walked on the water toward Jesus. As long as he looked at Jesus, he was walking, doing fine. When he looked at the storm, he started sinking.

I took my eyes off the road. I looked at the glove box directly in front of me; sometimes I looked out my side window. When I risked glances up front, out the windshield, into the storm, my blood pressure rose again.

But when I didn’t look at the storm, and thought of Jesus, and my verses, I had perfect peace.

“Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.”

“Fear not, for I am with thee. Be not afraid, for I hold you with My mighty strong arm.”

“What time I am afraid I will trust in Thee.”

“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak, but He is strong.”

“God loves us. Whatever happens is okay with Him.”

I didn’t know if I was saying all my verses correctly, but God’s Word, His presence, was with me. I was at peace. (I had to look it up – Isaiah 41.10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.)

Mind you, this continued for about 100 miles, off and on (mostly on). It was white-knuckle driving, down to 35 mph.

One of the times I looked up, there was a big ol’ semi passing us. Up ahead, we could see brake lights of cars pulled off to the right shoulder. Then the semi’s brake lights came on (still in the passing lane, ahead of us). There was a car behind it, and those brake lights came on. The semi started inching over into our lane (he had room, now, and we flicked our lights so he would know that). As we slowly passed, we saw that another car had also pulled onto the shoulder – THE LEFT SHOULDER! The skinny little left shoulder, not wide enough to fit a car. That car was half in the “shoulder,” and half in the passing lane. Stopped. On the Interstate, in a driving rain with maybe 50 yards of visibility. With other cars pulled over onto the other shoulder.

We shook our heads, commented on God’s grace, and thanked God and the truck driver for having quick reflexes and wisdom.

We made it home without mishap. We looked at each other, high-fived, and gave thanks to our Heavenly Father.

Take No Thought

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Matthew 6.31-33 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

At our house, we like to do some planning and thinking ahead. For example, we connected with a local rancher, and we purchase 200-250 pounds of (processed and packaged) beef at a time. Even though we have a large expenditure at the time, this saves us a lot of money in the long run because the price per pound is so much cheaper. We plan ahead for upcoming winter storms, making sure our larder is sufficient, our heating system is cleaned and in proper working order, and that we have the resources we might need, such as shovels, snow blower, ice melt, and outdoor clothing.

Do these plans thwart God’s command to give no thought for the morrow? I think not. Let me explain.

The Greek translations tell us not to be anxious, saying (insert worried tone and wringing of hands) what shall we eat or drink or wear.

How many times does God tell us to fear not? We are not to be anxious about God’s provisions, because He will provide. It is our part, our responsibility, to obey.

How to obey?

As we go about our daily lives, we are to pay attention to God’s Word, promptings of His Spirit, and encouragement of other believers (aka, seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness). If, as we ponder God and His provision, we feel prompted to buy this or that, to put by, then we obey. This is one way God takes care of us: He prompts us to procure, or He gifts us through others.

So: as we are not to be anxious about the morrow, so we are not to be frivolous. God calls us to be good stewards of those things He provides. “Give no thought” does not translate to “fagett-aboud-it.” We are to be grateful for and conscientious about God’s gifts. Take heed, take care.

How do you take heed and take care? Do you garden and can your harvest? Do you knit, crochet, sew or quilt? Do you work with wood or other medium? Do you cook and bake? Do you check your house regularly to make sure all systems are maintained well?