Peace in the Storm

Our phones and devices shrieked with warning. A tornado warning. 

I grew up in Tennessee, so I am familiar with tornadoes. However, their potential danger still feels overwhelming when they strike during my usual routine of doing homework and preparing dinner. The following moments are a blur of constantly checking the skies and radar and receiving texts from my mom and sister. Often, fear sets in first during moments of panic or distress, accompanied by a heavy feeling in my chest that I want to dissipate quickly. But when fear lingers, God kindly nudges me to remember prayer. 

The sky turned a greenish-gray hue and the wind was non-existent. We watched in silence as the storm outside our window seemed to be motionless, sending an eerie feeling up my spine. What do I do by myself with the kids?

As I waited for my husband to return home, I held my children tightly. My eldest child prayed as I stared at the sky. I wasn’t sure why I was feeling so uneasy. I’m not usually someone who gets easily worried, but it was enough for my children to notice that something was wrong with me.

He didn’t take long to return home and sat with the children until the warning subsided. However, soon after the still sky and tornado warning, a violent storm followed. The sky was illuminated with intense lightning as darkness fell.

Gathering around the table for dinner, I began to shakily pass food to everyone. My nerves would not settle. The calm person I usually bring to chaos was absent, and I was left with nervousness and anxiety. With every lightning strike, came another jolt of anxiety through my body. The comfort food of roasted vegetables and baked chicken wasn’t enough either.  Where was the peace in the storm?

peace in the storm at the dining room table

We bowed our heads and prayed for dinner, as again I stared out the window watching the darkness and explosions of light. And then giggles. The kids broke out in all manner of silliness. I think the stress of the evening was wearing on them, and they handled it with humor. Making jokes was much more enjoyable than hearing the sound of lightning cracking outside our windows. As the meal continued, our stomachs were full, and so were my thoughts. Lightning lit up our dining room table again, but this time I was struck with peace. 

The glow from our dining room lamp warmed our room and I was reminded that even though a storm raged outside our window, we still had each other and God’s kindness. 

It’s been a hard past six months for us, but as I sat around the dinner table last night I realized again how beautiful our life is. The boundless kindness of God encompasses not only our basic needs but also the precious moments of laughter and joy shared by our children, even after a challenging day. The kindness he gives has become a guiding light for our children, permeating how they talk to each other and their friends while also illuminating their paths in school and work. As I sat around the table last night I was deeply reminded that whatever storm rages on outside, our God holds peace out to us if we only open our eyes to his kindness. Life is beautiful. Take a moment to look around. Ask him to show you. He’s so so kind.

How have you experienced peace in the storm or the kindness of God in your life?

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