I live on a battlefield.
Every autumn and spring, howling arctic cold fronts barreling down out of the Canadian Rockies meet up with moisture-laden tropical lows coming up from the Gulf of Mexico, and they have it out right over our heads here in Middle Tennessee. This meteorological battle usually results in severe tornado-producing thunderstorms.
Once, the local television stations preempted their regular programming to cover the latest round of supercell thunderstorms to march overhead. I really didn't need them to tell me that. The sight of my BBQ grill and cheap lawn chairs doing cartwheels across the lawn told me all I needed to know about the weather conditions outside.
Weather forecasters insisted I needed to be in my "safe place" immediately and that the dangerous storm was bearing down right where I lived. The problem with their advice was that our humble little wood-frame house had no safe place. There is no basement and only one completely interior space—a small, cramped linen closet. We live in a rural wooded area. No close neighbors. Outside, marble-size hail battered the windows and roof. I began to worry.
Then, my eyes fell to my grandson's illustrated Teen Bible. We had been reading the Easter story earlier, and the open book was still on my desk. This particular page had an illustration of Jesus' empty tomb on Easter morning. And there, I realized, was my safe place.
My safe place was in that empty tomb, right there, in the heart of Christ. And what it represented was Christ's victory over death. That should have been imprinted on my heart. God should not have had to remind me. Somewhere between the howling wind and the pounding hail, I took my eyes off Him. But He never let me out of His sight, nor out of His heart.
The story doesn't have a happy ending. Oh, the storm passed over our home without incident, and my family was safe. But it touched down as an F4 tornado just a few miles east, snuffing out lives and injuring scores of people. I prayed for those people, even as I thanked God for keeping us and our home safe. And I hope that the next time the sky darkens, He won't have to gently remind me that I am nestled deeply in His heart. Something I should already know.
Do you know Him? Does He have to remind you?
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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