Monday, July 14, 2014

When The Storm Comes

Two weeks ago my family and I were driving out and Iowa.  Ok, stop yawning, I was the one that had to drive it, I promise the story gets better.  As we drove along, I was just praising God in my head and asking Him to deal with me in certain areas of my life like trust and attitude when all of a sudden one of those Emergency Broadcast Signals blasted over our radio.  I know this is going to be hard for you to believe, but there was really bad weather including hail and tornadoes IN IOWA!  Can you imagine?  So, calmly (we all know that isn't true) I proceeded to the nearest Davenport exit where we waited the storm out in a structurally sound McDonalds (between two plate glass windows no less).  As if that wasn't logistically safe enough, this particular eatery was attached to a gas station, so needless to say it was ripe with volatility.
Somehow, this violent storm steered clear of us and our poor choice in stops, but behind it was another wall of weather savagery.  The Doppler was purple and black.  So Debby and I posited that we would be able to make it to our exit before this next round of storms (affectionately termed Hurricane Davenport) was going to hit.  So off we went.  I hope this doesn't shake your faith, but I was tense as we drove.
Within 10 miles of our exit we heard a loud pop and the car began to vibrate.  Yep, you guessed it, we blew a tire.  In retrospect, I was initially disappointed in my response.  God, why are you allowing this to happen (remember, I had been praying for God to deal with me in the area of trust)?
As Debby and I got out of the car we walked back and stared in amazement at what we saw.  The tire had a baseball size hole in it, but it was still holding air.  I'm not a physics guy, but I'm pretty sure the tire should have been flat by all laws of physics.  Debby and I quickly ascertained that there was no spare and no garage for the next ten miles, we had to get back on the highway.  So off she drove.  Yep, she drove, if you know me and you know Debby, it was just best.  We were on the highway on a tire that had no reason to hold air.  Bearing down on us was a massive black wall of clouds.  We were driving 45 and people were passing us at 75.  All of a sudden the rain dumped and everyone around us slowed down to 45 mph.  It was amazing, God kept us safe in so many ways.  We made it to the exit and arrived at a garage where a mechanic simply alternated his gaze of disbelief between us and the tire.  For him, there was no explanation.  For us there was.  Debby's family came and picked us up in a big SUV, which was good because the roads were flooded with water pouring over some of the roads.  We would have tried to drive through them, can you imagine what would have happened?
By the world's standards, these are just freak occurrences, anomalies with no explanation other than luck.  Yet for us, this was a reminder that our God can be trusted even in the smallest of things.  For me it was a reminder that can love this world abundantly and at the same time, He has the ability to love the individual as if he or she was the only one.  I laid in bed that night and I pondered how sweet He is.  It set off a chain reaction that week that kept His name pouring from my lips.  I spent time with a good brother and we talked about how amazing it was to sit and watch Him work.  We lamented that people at times get so busy or are so world focused that they don't get to see Him move in such a way.  I recognized that God uses these things in preparation for Uganda.  I know these things will happen and I am learning that He is able to deal with all of these things and so much more.  Even better, He can do it without effort, that is how powerful He is.
I'm so glad our tire blew out, I count it all joy to not be left bent one way.  Rather, that He would love me enough to put me in a position like that to watch Him work.  My response is my greatest joy and my greatest pleasure:  My God, You reign on high and no one thwarts Your plans.
Lord I love You.  I recognize that You are in control of all things and not me.  God, keep preparing me for Uganda, I love what You are doing and will continue to do in me.

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