Today was a seemingly normal day. I talked to my dad. I worked. I got ready to make dinner. But, around 2 o’clock I thought it might be nice to meet with my in-laws for dinner. I told my husband to call and crossed my fingers that they were up for meeting…after all, I wouldn’t have to cook in that case. We decided we’d head to the big church’s indoor play tubes just a few miles away for some playtime afterward. It had rained all day here, and the kids had been cooped up.
What I didn’t know is that God had an appointment for me at that restaurant.
We got in the car, headed the 20 minutes towards their house. We arrived without issue, sat down and ordered our drinks while we waited for my in-laws. Shortly after they got there, the severe weather warning went off on every person’s phone. Terror moved into my oldest’s heart. I could see instantly, she was on edge. Last summer, we experienced a tornado a few miles from our house. While we didn’t even lose power, she’s been fearful of them ever since. A few more minutes later, and another warning goes off and so does the power in the restaurant. A manager asked everyone to move to the center of the restaurant away from the windows. She sat at a table with a woman who looked to be about my parents’ age and tried to eat through her tears.
So, I prayed. I said, “Lord, I don’t know if this woman is a Christian, but I’m about to pray.” In that time, my daughter asked if we were going to get to go to the play place. This woman asked where she wanted to go and so I told her what we had planned. Her response was amazing.
“Honey, that’s my church! We go to that church. Are you afraid?” My daughter nodded, and she said, “Well, you know what we need to do? We’ll pray.” She called her husband over to the table, whose father was a pastor at that church, and we all prayed for peace and protection. We all laid hands on my daughter, and the Lord met us right there in that dark restaurant.
My daughter went on to ask about how we would pay for a new house if ours was destroyed in the tornado, and I told her that we have insurance, and that if our house was destroyed, then we’d praise Jesus for taking us to that restaurant and keeping us safe. And that God is good for giving us Christian brothers and sisters to pray with us and comfort us. And, we told her that if the beasts of the fields and the birds of the air don’t worry, we won’t worry either. That God never leaves us, nor forsakes us. That God hasn’t left any of us down yet…not even once. And, that if our house was destroyed, God would be in that as well. My son told her that we can use songs to help us as well. His little voice started singing He’s got the whole world in his hands. The rest of us joined in as well. I prayed that someone would be brought to God in that moment.
The storm passed, we said our goodbyes and came home…to a home completely untouched by the storm that just passed through. And my children learned what it’s like meeting God in the midst of the chaos, what it’s like having the Lord of heaven and earth calm your spirit when fear strikes the heart.