Tornado sirens woke us up last night at 3:45. This was after staying up until midnight and then getting up around two to let the dog out. As the sirens blared outside and through our cell phones, we turned on the TV to see that yes, indeed, a tornado had been spotted very close to us. We slowly awoke from our grogginess to the reality that we may actually have a reason to hunker down. My husband woke up the kids and brought them downstairs, and we huddled in the master bed for a half hour, until the warning for our specific area ended. Needless to say, everyone is exhausted today.
But I am also grateful this morning – and not just for the fact that we are all okay.
Certainly, I am grateful that we are all okay! In fact, last night’s tornado warnings really put in perspective for me just how precious each day is and how fleeting and temporary everything is. Having grown up in Texas, I have heard plenty of tornado warnings before, and most of the time, they don’t phase me. Maybe because we are now parents, and time is already going way too fast, last night’s threat resonated more than normal. In one storm, I realized, all these material things we obsess over could be wiped away. In that moment, all that mattered was that these people I was holding close, and the rest of my family and friends, were safe and sound.
But the sirens last night stirred something even deeper. They brought back memories of World War II movies, where sirens would warn that bombs were about to be dropped. Today, in light of everything going on in the world, I find myself feeling grateful that the sirens we heard were to warn of a natural disaster and not of bombs being dropped, or some sort of terrorist threat. I wondered if the people in the Middle East and other parts of the world get warnings today. Cuddling with my children in my bed, I visualized scenes of families in Syria and Iraq huddled together while they waited for an entirely different kind of storm to pass. A storm that would not pass. A storm that would force them from their homes and onto a new path where they are travelling anywhere they can find a bed. A storm that would force them to travel alongside terrorists disguised among them, who would make it so that they are not welcome anywhere.
I thank God every day that I can hold my children without worrying about having a shelter or how I will provide something to eat for them, but some false alarms in the night helped make my prayers go a little deeper. Today, I am thankful I don’t have to worry about being rejected because a terrorist is hiding in plain sight beside me. Today, I pray that God provides comfort for innocent families all over the world who live in a reality where a siren means much more than thirty minutes of extra snuggling in the middle of the night.
I don’t know what the solution is to the crisis we are facing, but I know that there is one. God can work miracles when we least expect it, and things that seem impossible for man are possible for Him. So today, join me in praying first and foremost that His will is carried out, whatever that may be. Pray with me that God reveals His will clearly to the leaders of countries like the U.S. and France and that we have the strength to do the right thing even when it is hard and scary.
“For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7