April 3, 1974 , a day that is remembered in this part of Ohio as deadly tornados ripped through the area 44 years ago. We woke up this morning to the memories and images of this horrific event all over the media.
April 3, 2018, around 4:15 in the afternoon we were under a tornado warning and the skies were quickly getting dark and ominous. For those who know me well understand what this meant: total panic! My biggest fears have been etched in my life for years and so have my reactions. MUST panic with tornadoes and fire, MUST get anxiety if traveling, MUST have stage fright while speaking, MUST scream at spiders, and snakes….well they hold a category of their own. I am terrified of snakes.
I was raised to take tornado warnings very seriously and remember as a child in my grandmothers house grabbing the dog and my Bible to head down to the basement to wait. So, here I was again with my dogs and my Bible. We don’t have a basement so I was in the bathtub with my little pack of dogs. I was waiting for the fear to kick in as it always does. The nervous shakes and sweats would come any moment. I was waiting to become the annoying wife to my husband who prefers to watch the handiwork of God and help others get to safety. I was waiting for the sound of the “freight train” to plow through my apartment.
BUT much to my surprise: Fear never showed up, PEACE did!
As I sat in the bathtub, my dogs were unusually calm and I felt the presence of Jesus surrounding me. I listened to worship music and prayed through this frightening time and peace met me right in my bathroom. It was a moment I will never forget because I knew I was ok. I knew even if I died in this bathtub , I was still ok. I was prepared in my heart to handle whatever happened because I knew who was in control. God reminded me this day that my life is in HIS hand and that even if it was my time to go home, I could still be Radiant with HIS joy in the midst of this potential disaster.
Rather than listening to the media instill fear into my mind, I listened to a song that flooded my heart until my husband gave me the “all clear”.
” It may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by YOU” were the words that played over and over. I KNEW that the clouds were surrounding my neighborhood, but that HE was surrounding me, melting my fears, letting me rest on HIS mighty shoulder and be at peace with HIS plan for this day.
Its a simple story , I know. But for me, it was simply God keeping His promise to me and reminding me that HIS WORD is my PEACE and TRUTH! HE is all powerful and allowed a massive tornado to lead me to a place where I was freed from my fear.
The only destruction that happened in my bathroom on Tuesday was the destruction of FEAR!
Again, the promise in Psalm 34:4-5 is what I was clinging to! My past didn’t matter to God when He lifted my fears this week. HIS love radiated all over me and therefore I can share my story with confidence KNOWING it was ALL HIM!
“ I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to HIM for help will be RADIANT with JOY; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.” Ps 34:4-5 NLT
My joy is rooted in Christ and in God’s Word! Unlike happiness, it is unshakeable!
I encourage you today to not only pray to the Lord in the midst of your fear, but LET HIM ANSWER!!! Don’t let habits that fuel your fears speak louder than the promises of GOD! He loves you , He cares about you , and He wants an INTIMATE relationship with you.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus!