Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Reminder of Grace

Several weeks ago we had a pretty fierce storm. 
We know the drill.....
Watch the radar
Keep Tuned into local weather alerts
Pay attention and Listen
The lights flickered and suddenly it sounded like the house was being pounded inward from every direction by the rain.
That's when I gave the word and we rushed into the main bathroom of our house.  We live in a mobile home and I believe this is the safest room-if there is one.  It has no windows and seems to be in the best location if any of the big trees come down.  In the middle of this, we hurried into Cass' bedroom and drug his double size mattress into the bathroom floor, along with the weather radio.  It was here that we stayed and listened to the storm and the weather updates, on a now battery operated radio.
Let me explain that this isn't exactly a rare occurrence around here.  We live in a land of frequent severe thunderstorms, tornado watches, and the occasional tornado itself.  Most of the time, the worst that happens is we lose power for a day or more and/or spend the night in the bathroom floor.
I didn't go to sleep during this storm, and later in the night when it calmed down, I moved me and the kids back into our bedroom for the night.  I did peek out the front door and see a big limb off of a tree.  But I had no idea until morning what had happened outside.
To give you an idea, this shed is located behind the house.  There is usually only grass on the ground.  You can see a line of trees down behind Gracie, extending past both sides of the picture.

Here is a closer picture of what was happening outside of the house.  Where the skirting is 'ruffled' is  where we went to get the mattress and only steps away from the bathroom we ended up in.

Use your imagination here.  This specific line of damage started past the edge of the first picture of the post.  It began far from the house and did a whole lot of damage before making its way here.  It went through the trees as I've tried to show in the pictures above.  It messed with the skirting on the edge of the house....and then it literally STOPPED.  Right there, right before the area where the kids and I were sheltered.  Just.  In.  Time.
Let that soak in.
The next morning, the kids yelled that there were trees down in the back, big trees.  I stepped outside and my heart literally stopped and sank into my belly.  We ventured outside and with every step, I saw something that I'll never forget. 
I saw the exact measure of grace we were given that night.  The weeks since have held discoveries of many more places effected by that night's storms.  And a whole lot of cleanup with eventual results.  
Since that morning I've been unable to help it.....I keep comparing this storm to God's protection in our lives.  We go through times in life knowing things are rough and knowing God is with us.  But it's not always then that we realize just how much grace we've been given.  It's often not until the storm has passed that we are able to see.  To look and feel of the damage, to sense the hurt from which we've been spared.  Often Grace is best measured in hind-sight.  Looking back and being able to see just how much our Savior has protected us from.  I believe that feeling will be endlessly multiplied in the time we will walk and talk with Jesus.  Until then, I'll remember to trust HIM in the storms.  My hope is that you will too.
Life carries on in the days since.  Springtime filled with all things spring.  Baseball.  Soccer.  Softball.  End of school work.  Little friendships growing.  Family together.  Gardens planted.  Yards mowed.  Flowers planted.  Hearts healing.  And most of all.....lives lived.  The tragedies coming from storms in other states remind us that the same God that gives....He also takes away.  Still HE is mighty and He knows what He's protecting each of us from....even those whose lives were lost to a storm's fury.  Pray for those families.  Thank God that He isn't done with you yet.  Be inspired by the stories of faith pouring in from survivors. 

Today I give things to HIM in all we have.  For my husband, my best friend.  For our four beautiful and healthy children.  For little friendships and lives growing.  For lessons learned and storms survived.  For protections unknown and Grace we often don't see.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.  Psalm 145:17