Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Firm Forever

I stretched my legs out as far as they could reach underneath the sheet and quilt covering me, holding my breath for a minute trying to determine the source of the strange noise penetrating the silence outside my window. It was different; not the dog across the street or the trash truck picking up its load.

Sirens.

When I lived in Montgomery, sirens were a normal part of the spring. But for some reason (must be geological), the part of Shelby County, Alabama that I have lived in for seven years doesn't have a fraction of the tornado warnings I dealt with just 70 miles south. I think I have only heard the sirens go off at my house five times since moving, and two of those times have been in the last three weeks. In Montgomery, we became anesthetized to the sound, going about our daily business unless we actually caught an eyesight of a funnel cloud on the horizon. But now that I am removed from weekly tornado warnings, if I hear the distinct sound, I take cover.

5:25 am.

"Scott... turn the TV on... the sirens are going off..."

The man of the house got up to check on the status, put the umbrellas down outside, and let poor Buddy Love into the garage lest he get swept away in the wind. We then decided to get the kids up and carry them down to the basement. Better safe than sorry.

As I sat in between my two precious ones watching the radar visual of the squall line moving right over us, I thought about a Psalm that I fell in love with when I read it a few years ago.

The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity.
The seas have lifted up, O LORD, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea - the LORD on high is mighty.
Your statutes stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days, O LORD.
Psalm 93

In my mind, before I looked it up to refresh myself, I thought it said something about a storm. But the thunder I remembered in the Psalm was in reference to the ocean. The feeling is the same... the elements of the earth are out of our control. Perhaps that's the scariest part of hearing the sirens - knowing that the storm rages above you and there's absolutely nothing that can be done to stop it.

What I loved about the Psalm the first day I read it and highlighted it in the most obnoxious shade of yellow was the presence of God's mighty strength. How God never moves or changes. He is forever. He is from all eternity. He is not blown in the wind. He is still and firm. What He establishes cannot be moved by thunderous waves or storms.

Last night, I saw footage of storm ravaged Arkansas. I lived in the state for a brief period of time when I was in fourth grade, so I paid close attention to the news piece. The camera crew interviewed a lady, and it broke my heart. She said something to the effect, "It's hard to look around and see everything you've worked for is gone." I can't imagine.

I think it's become more important for me to keep in mind that there's only one thing in the entirety of this crazy world that does not change. God. He never changes, blows away, moves, goes up in flames, runs away, or hides. He is ever present in our lives. He is more powerful than any other force in the universe. He is from all eternity. He is eternity. He just simply is, and He wants to be with you. Yes, you. And me, and the cashier that rang up my minimal purchase at Walmart yesterday, and everyone else in the world. He wants to be our firm place of safety in an unreliable world.

That makes me feel a little better in the midst of this crazy severe weather outbreak so early in our spring. It makes me feel better in the second straight year of financial uncertainty in our country (that specifically effects my household). It makes me feel better, in general, to know that I have at least one certain thing in my life. People and things may come and go, but my LORD stands firm forever.

Amen.

1 comment:

Victoria said...

Tamara,

I live in Conway AR just 10 or so miles from Vilonia and the area that was totally devastated by the tornadoes.

The Arendall family of six survived the storm, but lost their house and most all of their worldly possessions.

We held a dinner at church last night to gather with them, to pray and to bring supplies that they might need and our pastor said that they experienced the very hand of God and how He cannot be moved. He laid His mighty hand on them as they crouched under the stairs and in the closet and as the tornado swirled and flung debris all around them, they were safe under His strong hand and walked out alive, in more ways than I could ever imagine.

Thank you so much for your post...I love reading your blog and I am so thankful that I came across it. Please be in prayer for those affected by the storms, and stay safe during this storm season.