“Down in the basement. Now,” my father called
and with that my two brothers, mom, dad and I scurried
down the steps. I heard the worry in his voice.
Tornadoes were common in the area where we had recently moved in Kansas City, Mo.
In fact, quite close to our home were the signs of that fierce tornado that went through
in the recently demolished school building.
And now one was sighted heading our way.
Fear clutched my throat as my hands squeezed my money jar.
Weeks earlier I had decided
that if a tornado ever came where we lived
and I had to take cover
that the three things I would save were
my favorite doll,
my money jar
this one makes me smile today as I share it with you
and my Bible.
For a nine year old this was my first awareness of fragileness of life.
People died in that previous tornado.
We huddled in our basement for what seemed like ages.
My dolly gave little comfort
my money gave none
but the presence of my family
particularly my mom and dad gave some reassurance.
As I listened to the howl of the strong winds outside
I pulled my Bible closer.
Fear not for I am with you. Isaiah 41:10
I had memorized that verse a few weeks earlier at VacationBibleSchool.
Now they came to mind again as my fears of total destruction threatened
to overpower me.
I remembered David before Goliath
and Daniel in the lions den
and Esther, Joseph and Rahab.
And then I had heard of Corrie ten Boon
and Betty Stam, Jim Elliot and others who had endured frightening circumstances.
God had been with them.
Suddenly my Dad walked back up the stairs
and out into the storm. The rest of us stayed waiting
Sirens could be heard in the distance as the rain fell.
No, I didn’t like it when my Dad left us.
I wanted him to be safe
to keep us safe. Somehow I connected our safety with his physical presence.
But today looking back
I understand that we were kept in His Presence.
It’s the I Am with you
that changes our fears into a faith that holds through all the storms of life.
Today we face many different kinds of fears.
The storms all around us are raging.
Decisions to be made. Mounting pressures.
But we are never alone. Never.
His Presence covers us with everlasting Love and His Word secure.
He will never leave us.
No matter what you are facing today
at this very moment
nestle down in the arms of the One Who keeps saying
‘Fear not. I am with you’
He knows all about your need and He wants to give you Comfort and Peace.
this very moment.
Maybe that’s why that little memory came back to me today
brightening up whatever situation you are facing.
What do you think?