A bad storm hit our area last night while we were eating our Easter dinner. First, the lights over the dining room table flickered, and then the power went out for a few moments. I heard the wind and could see the trees violently swaying in the backyard. We sent the kids to the hallway while Brian left to check on our car in the driveway (he just opened up the garage door, I think). Our children have been through more than one storm together. Always together. They have been through power outages, and even a tornado or two. Let me tell you right now that they are not fond of storms.
The two youngest started crying as soon as the lights flickered. Brian and I did our best to calm them down. As we each embraced one of them, we gave each other concerning looks. That is when I suggested we leave the table and go to the hallway. Right away, our five year old made a suggestion as we were huddled between those center walls. He still has a speech impediment and I was not sure, at first, what he suggested. Did he say "play" or "pray"? Yes, he did actually suggest we PRAY during this storm! Knowing that child, you may have thought that he would suggest to play during a stressful situation.
The five of us stood in a huddle. Each child took their turn to pray. The five-year old, who had just minutes before been crying, calmly prayed that his brother's favorite backyard tree, Fred, would stand through the storm. They all thanked God for being together, and prayed for the safety of their trees, and other people. I was amazed how calm the kids were, even though I knew they were all scared. Our three-year old was still not ready to say a prayer, but he was without tears. Brian had come in and stayed with us. I did not even take a turn in leading our prayer group!
Prayer really does change a situation, doesn't it? Instead of focusing on the wind, the rain, and the falling branches, we re-focused on God. We were in the middle of talking about The Resurrection at the table when that storm tried to distract us. Our kids looked to us for reassurance, but we were also confused and worried. Our children showed us the way, though. Sadly, my first thought was "safety and security", and not "Please, God, help us". After being taught a very good lesson by my own children, I calmed down and gave everything to Him.
We went on with our big meal without any more incidents. Brian and the two older boys checked out the property to find a large tree limb on the ground next to the house and covering our fire pit. Brian was concerned about how close it was to the house (near the garage). There were several smaller branches laying around, and they had to retrieve a garbage can lid from our neighbors across the street. Was really amazing thing, though, was the cup sitting on the back porch. I don't know why there was a red Solo cup outside, but I do know that Brian and the boys were watching it. They never saw it move, even though they could see leaves and branches skipping all around it. This morning, Brian took a picture of our backyard. The red cup is still sitting on the porch, and behind it is the fallen tree limb.
I want to be like my boys and that Solo cup! They have kept their faith, even though there is craziness all around them. Although they were uncertain about the storm, they stood firm in their belief. These boys (and possibly that inanimate cup) are prayer warriors. I know that I am a worrier. I fret about what could go wrong, but they live in the moment. My boys have been giving God their daily worries, as we all should do. I am so thrilled to hear them talk about reading the Bible, about what God wants them to do, and what their favorite worship songs are. We still hear about Pokemon, super heroes, and video games. We also hear about their triumphs, like learning to ride a bicycle, counting to 20 (without skipping 13 or 16), or perfecting their whistling to the Andy Griffith Show theme-song.
Even when times are bleak and uncertain, there is still hope for the future. My boys are planning on some day meeting up with friends and family, and what they are going to do when they are older (like buy their own trucks, go to the movies, and eat ice cream at any time of day). They are not worried about any of it for now, though, and are just trusting that God will get us through this. What more can I ask of them? And what more can I do by worrying? Giving all of my thoughts and actions to the Lord is what I will be doing instead!
Proverbs 10:25 New International Version (NIV)
25 When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.