We didn't quite beat the storm to our front door. It came too quickly, that red-purple blob on the computer map marching from left to right across the screen, with us right in its path.
Sheets of white rain poured down two-and-a-half inches on already water-logged soil. Then came the house-shaking thunder preceded by bright streaks that lit up prematurely-darkened skies. Somewhere in the background sounded the familiar horn of the tornado warning.
As I rapidly ushered my three children indoors from the van, I continuously prayed under my breath, "Keep us safe, Father." Once inside, I breathed a sigh of relief only to find now, the children were upset, excited, anxious. Moments before, they had been calmly sitting and singing while I white-knuckle-gripped the wheel. What had happened?
Thankfully, I realized, not too many crazy minutes later, that their anxiousness didn't come from the storm. Instead, it came from not being able to see what was happening.
And in the unseen, there was fear.
Wyatt kept screaming, "The house is in danger!!!" Amelia cried and immediately ran upstairs for her blanket, returning with it wrapped over her head like the old Sunday School pictures of the virgin Mary. And somewhere in the chaos, Emerson found a teddy bear to cart around.
Then, I removed the curtain from the back door and let three small bodies jockey for position, noses and hot breath smudge the glass, large eyes watch the storm rage on the other side of the panes.
In that instant, although the storm continued to worsen, they were at peace because they could see. After one particularly strong gust of wind nearly flattened the gardenia bush, Amelia yelled, "No blow leaves off tree, God!" But other than that, the trio just stood and watched, then moved on with their other pursuits.
It must be genetic--this fear of the unseen.
How often over the past decade have I struggled to see the storm raging through my family's life, believing that if I could just see exactly what was coming, I would be ok...but in truth, I was already resting in the safety of my Father's arms.
I just needed to remember where I was in relation to that storm, to shift my focus and see the walls of protection around me.
I am the one yelling, "Oh no, lord, what shall we do!?" because of my short-sightedness.
Instead, may my prayer be, "Oh Lord, let me see you."
"Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha" (2 Kin. 6:17).