I had decided that I would put up a new post every day this week since I haven't been very good about it but let's just be honest here, I'm a little bit lazy! :D (Well, that and I have four kids I'm trying to homeschool and one of them is wrestling her math so I have to be available. ) I decided that for today I would repost one of my favorite things I've written. It's a few years old but I remember that camping trip like it was yesterday. And since I don't have much in the way of readership who's going to complain?! :P Besides, I'm just doing my part to go green and recycle! :)
For days the air had been hot and heavy, pressing down on us like a thick blanket that left us breathless and lethargic. So when the breeze started we welcomed it. It skittered through the campsite like a playful child, flipping the pages of my book until my place was hopelessly lost but I didn't care. The cool breeze ruffling through my hair made me feel as if I were awakening from a dream that had lasted far too long.
All through the camp people were coming out of their trances. Suddenly kids on bikes were everywhere and adults were walking about chattering like they hadn’t seen each other for days.
I wanted to enjoy the turn in the weather but deep inside me a warning was going off. Something was urging me to clean up the campsite. The strong pull to get everything put away and batten down the hatches didn’t seem to fit with the gentle breeze and cloudless blue sky but I couldn’t ignore it.
I hadn’t been cleaning more than a few minutes before I noticed clouds skittering by overhead. The urgency inside me grew and I worked faster. Then someone reported thunder and lightening down by the lake. This news kicked everyone into high gear; tarps were thrown over tents, campsites secured, children and pets were rounded up and tucked inside.
Before we had fully tied the tarps down the first fat drops began to fall. It had gone from hot, still weather to windy torrential rains in less than 20 minutes. We sat huddled in the tent listening to the thunder roll for over an hour.
Finally, the rains eased and the thunder rumbled off in the distance but the wind was reluctant to leave. No longer the gentle breeze that had playfully ruffled my hair, it was now in a full blown tantrum. The tall pines overhead danced and swayed, waving their branches as if in wild applause.
The day was chased away by the fast approaching darkness but the wind still would not subside. As night fell we snuggled the little ones into the tent and settled down by the fire. I usually find evenings at camp to be soothing and peaceful but this night the wind tormented the flames, whipping and swirling them around, blowing hot acrid smoke in our faces before flinging it off into the blackness somewhere along with my peace.
In that dense darkness I could hear the trees creaking and groaning with every blast from the unrelenting wind. Finally, one could take it no longer and we heard it crack then fall with a loud crash somewhere in the inky black night.
I’m sure my eyes were wide with the terror I felt because Jon immediately tried to sooth me. He wanted to go make sure the others were safe but the thought of him disappearing into the darkness caused all of my insides to twist into knots. Finally, though I was reluctant to let him go, concern for our friends won out.
As I watched the beam of his flashlight disappear into the night the huge black void pressed in and surrounded me. I was small and vulnerable, helpless against the power of the wind that lashed about me. I sat there in the dark, alone and afraid.
“Be anxious for nothing.”
The whispered thought crept into my mind amidst the frenzied thoughts of crashing trees and smashed tents. I tried to grab it but I was being tossed wildly about by the fears whirling through my head.
Though again it was only a quiet whisper the words seemed to carry all His strength and power. Suddenly, the storm that raged in me was calmed and His peace flooded my soul. I was no longer at the mercy of the storm. Instead I saw myself as a tiny flame that was cupped in large strong hands, protected from the wind.
There are so many storms that blow through our lives and most of them are unexpected. We’re just going along enjoying the sunshine and out of the blue the thunder rolls, the lightening flashes and the wind tries to tear us apart. Our minds whirl with fear and doubt and we wait anxiously for the dawn, wondering if it will ever come.
When the night is black and closing in on you, remember He is near. With but a word He created all that we see. With a whisper He can calm the storm or the child caught in it. His love for you is more powerful than the fiercest gale and He cares for His own, whether they are huddled by a campfire or wandering in the dark.
I was lulled to sleep that night by the sound of the same wind that moments before had terrified me.
I know One who is bigger than the storm.
“My soul, wait silently for God alone,
For my expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be moved.
In God is my salvation and my glory;
The rock of my strength,
And my refuge, is in God.
Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.”