The subtitle of my blog today should be “Thoughts from an Appalachian Woman” instead of “Encouragement.” Because as I write this, I’m watching the Weather Channel’s tracking of Hurricane Sandy and the anticipated journey up the East Coast. Government officials are paying close attention to the warnings and are putting service crews on standby. Pennsylvania’s governor already has declared a state of emergency and other governors are preparing to do the same. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has issued guidelines for citizens to “minimize potential damage from the storm,” and suggest having at least three days of water and other supplies for each family member.
Our entire nation is watching. Even if we don’t have loved ones facing danger from Hurricane Sandy, we are concerned for the families who are. And we remember other storms that were expected to pass quickly but, instead, intensified and caused havoc before disappearing.
Some of us remember our own encounters with deadly storms. During my Michigan childhood, my siblings and I spent many summer nights sleeping on a mattress in the cellar while our parents watched dark rolling skies that quickly could form funnel clouds. One of those tornadoes destroyed several blocks of homes in a town north of us. The Red Cross provided tents for the displaced families but, a couple of days later, another tornado roared into the same area and devoured the tents. I’m an adult now but, if I have a nightmare, a tornado always is in it.
Yes, I know our heavenly Father is with us. But life already has taught me He doesn’t always do things my way. And He doesn’t always spare those whom I know to be innocent and loving, spiritual and much needed. All I know is that God is with us always—even during difficult times.
How about the storms you’ve weathered? What did you experience? What did you learn? What hope can you offer those of us whose nightmares still contain those earlier experiences?