“We will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” Psalm 46:2-3
Hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes… Natural disasters like these rock our world like nothing else. In the classroom of our own home, I was recollecting memories to my intrigued 6th grade son of the 1994 Northridge earthquake going back to when I was 9 years old and lived in its epicenter. I remember every detail as though played back in slow motion. I wake up to the ground shaking all around me, noise like of a train coming full speed, and an overwhelming fear that screamed, “Run out as fast as you can!” I race to my bedroom door while stumbling upon fallen objects, only the door will not budge. Then, my daddy comes to the rescue! He opens the door and carries me safely out of danger.
Many victims of the Houston hurricane were left in shambles after being rescued by valiant neighbors and rescue crews. As we pray for them, we imagine what it’s like to go through something of that magnitude. We are left distraught merely thinking about it. When tragedy hits someone else we panic and naturally feel sorrow for them. Yet, when disaster or tragedy hits close to home, God promises to provide us with grace for our time of need. It is said that God is not early, nor is he late, he is always on time.
On May 4th, my husband went to heaven at age 37 due to aggressive cancer, leaving behind two young children and a budding church where he pastored. In one sense, I could say my world was turned upside down. Simultaneously, I would say that never have I experienced such unexplainable peace and comfort. If you would have asked me a year ago how I’d respond to a loved one’s death, I would have probably hit the floor in horror. In fact, when a fellow homeschool mom lost her child, I was distraught for her. I was not granted the grace to endure tragedy until the moment I personally needed it.
We can become consumed with needless fear; however, the Lord calls us to be the Proverbs 31 women clothed in strength and dignity who can laugh at the future. How?
As woman, most of us like to plan and be prepared; it gives us a sense of control. While being prepared is a noble effort, it can never be exhausted to meet every situation. There is a way, however, to be prepared come what may—that is by forming a habitual pattern of running to the arms of our rescuer in prayer and thanksgiving. We cannot avert disaster, but we can rest in trusting that God is in control of every day of our lives and every lightning bolt that falls from the sky. If we make it a practice to abide in the truth of his word we will find rest for our anxious minds and weary hearts in the abundant promises of his deliverance. The call is to simple child-like faith; to ‘Be still and know that I am God.’
Update: We miss our Oregon and our Merlin Church family but have been warmly welcomed in California by so many who have continued to pray for us. The boys are happy in our new shared home and we are close to family. Noah is doing very well in homeschool! We just finished week two out of 36. Sometimes, it can take almost half the year to get Noah dialed in; but he has just plugged right in. Nathan has surprisingly been sleeping through the night even though my room is on the floor below. I’m thankful to live with a family that loves Jesus and loves us. There are some things which we need to get used to, such as having to drive farther to get anywhere. Also, our new church (where we had previously attended) is like Disneyland… It’s wonderful, but it’s so big that it may take some time to find our place there again. There’s been loving people from the church that have reached out to us and a family even sponsored us our way to a retreat next weekend. God’s provision through others has been an amazing attestation to God’s love displayed through his people. Thank you for your sustaining prayers that carry us on, the encouragement of your love, and your support through meeting tangible financial needs as well reading the blog. In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be practicing writing devotions as part of a training and contest for writers with Proverbs 31 Ministries. If you can, I’d appreciate any input! Also, please continue to pray for God to open doors for the publication of a book on Josh’s life and writings.