Monday, April 14, 2014

Fear and Trembling and a Sovereign God

I've been reading through the Old Testament and have noticed that anytime something notable happens, the people build an altar and are instructed to tell their children what the altar stands for in the years to come. I've heard it said that we need to have "altars" as well - visible reminders of how God has worked in our lives so we don't forget. Well, I'm going to use this blog for that purpose today.

On Friday, I wrote a blog post about Lucy's fear of the wind. On Saturday, I had plans to go to a chocolate party in Grand Rapids. Earlier in the week, Justin and I had talked about all of us going down there and stopping at the mall before the party. Lena ended up taking a late nap, so we didn't have time to go to the mall, but it was raining and windy and Lucy had already watched 17 hours of TV. So we just kind of spontaneously decided to go together anyway. I'd take Lena with me to the party and Justin would take Lucy out for dinner.

15 minutes after I got to the party, Niki texted me, "Dude a tornado just went by our house! Are you guys ok?" I responded that I was in Grand Rapids where there was a light breeze and wasn't even raining. Long story a little shorter, Niki drove out to our house to check on it and called me to say, "Don't bring Lucy home. Your house is a disaster. Bring her to my house and then go clean up. She will freak out if she sees the damage." 

That's Lucy's window the piece of roof is dangling in front of.
I can't even explain how it felt to know that God had so perfectly protected Lucy - not necessarily from harm. Our house is still standing, no trees fell on it, we wouldn't have been hurt if we had been home. But He protected her from that horrendous feeling of terror she would've experienced. We didn't know a storm was coming. Yes, the clouds were huge and dark and the wind was howling shortly before we left, but I checked the local news stations and didn't see any thunderstorm watches or warnings, so I figured it would just be an average thunderstorm. We had no idea by driving 20 minutes south, we'd completely miss the catastrophic storm that swept the roof off our neighbor's barn and tore 100 year old oak trees right out of the ground. 

I love the concept of God's sovereignty. I love that he watched me type that last blog post and thought to himself, "I have it all under control." I love that he loves Lucy even more than I do.

We ended up dropping Lucy off at Niki's and going home to assess the damage. We don't have power and, living in the country, that means we don't have water. We can't flush the toilet or open the fridge or turn on a light (or the TV! haha). So we packed up and went to Justin's parents' house for the night. Yesterday, we had to go back to the house to pick up some more stuff, so I prepared Lucy on the way there. 

I explained that a big storm had gone by our house (I purposely avoided the word "wind") and did some damage. I told her that a tree fell down and the power was out and some of the roof was peeling off.  But I assured her that the house was ok, everything could be fixed, and the power will be back on in a few days. She was visibly nervous while I was talking to her, but just kept nodding and saying, "ok." Then I reminded her that we had prayed that Jesus would help her not to be afraid of the wind and he answered our prayers! I told her that God knew she would be afraid so he made sure that she wasn't home when the storm came by. I also explained that the tree that fell down was God's provision so we can heat our house (since we were out of wood for the furnace)! By the end of our conversation she was smiling. When we got home, she was unfazed by the damage. She took it all in stride. 

God probably won't always protect Lucy from fear. In fact, last night I laid by her air mattress on the floor at Justin's parents' until she fell asleep because it was storming again and she was scared. But we have such a visible reminder that he protected her from what would've been a very traumatic experience. And I will do my best to remind her of that so she never doubts God's goodness or his sovereignty. 

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