I grew up in Kansas. Which means tornadoes. I hate tornadoes.
One stormy night, my dad rushed into my bedroom and swooped me out of my bed. Our family made a mad dash to the neighbor's house - the only home in our community with a basement. Hunkered down in the dank dark basement, we waited. All the while the whipping howling wind ripped through our small town. The minutes seemed like hours and the hours like days. We waited for the darkness to pass, for the light to come.
That's how I feel sometimes. Waiting for it to be over. I go down. I stoop low. I cover my head and I tremble.
My heart pounds...
...waiting for it to end. Waiting for the sun to come out.
I am that petrified little girl cowering in the basement.
"Is it over", I squeak? "Can I come out now", I whisper?
The problem with being in the basement is that you can't see what's going on outside. There is no way to tell if the darkness has passed. Is it safe to come out? Ever so cautiously someone climbs the stairs to peer outside. Do you do that? I do. In the midst of a difficult time I'm hesitant to go outside. I want to be sure it's completely over before I venture out again. It's not safe out there I tell myself. I'll wait inside until I'm sure it's over.
When life smacks you in the face and you have to hunker down and wait, everything goes dark. Vision is hindered and fear creeps in. When will it end? When will it be safe?
But the thing about life is that the storm never really ends.
Spend some time on this earth and you begin to realize it's not about getting over the storms. It's about weathering them.
I tend to hide, I'm not so good at weathering.
Back in the basement we notice the sirens have stopped. It's over. But, the crackling transistor radio warns caution even in the midst of the aftermath. It's a mess out there...be careful.
It never really goes away - the threats, the suffering, the fear, and imminent danger. You don't know what's around the corner, what's developing on the radar. Have you lost a loved one? Has your marriage fallen apart? Did you lose your job, your health, your savings?
I've come to know suffering and difficulty more than I care to. And the more I know about it the less I can explain it. More questions than answers.
My husband encourages me...
I say it a lot these days - it's not so much that I'm trusting God as it is God's loving me. He hangs on in the middle of life's storms - he knows my palms are sweaty and my hand is slipping.
In the midst I think I hear a sound.
It's hard to make out...
...but it sounds like refuge.