Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Rock in the Sandstorm

The sandstorms in North Africa arise quickly and dangerously. We learned that when the sky turned yellow, the gritty, blinding cloud would be descending within the next five minutes. Everyone dashed for shelter and covered ears, eyes, noses and mouths.

One such afternoon, my small son was napping while I waddled around doing household tasks, my large, pregnant belly making me clumsy and slow. I was considering a nap myself.

As I stood in our open courtyard and looked up at the sky, I noticed it was that very distinctive yellow color, and the tops of the mulberry and olive trees were swaying. I began quickly closing the shutters of our glass-less windows and securing doors. 

Outside, I could see the garden umbrella whipping around in the wind. I raced out the door to pull down the umbrella when I heard a terrible crash behind me. The door to the walled garden had slammed closed in a gust of high wind, and I was locked out of our house. 

Had I not been pregnant, I would have tried climbing the latticed windows to the roof above and jumping into the courtyard, but that was impossible now. By this time, tree limbs broke free and were catapulting through the air, and visibility was growing worse. I ducked in a corner, tucking myself around my belly, and began to pray.

In the chaos, I heard my little boy’s voice from inside. “Where are you, Mommy? I’m scared.”

The storm had awakened him from his nap and he was wandering around the courtyard looking for me. Pieces of the roof had begun to fly off and fall into the open space where he was standing.

Trying to stay calm, I shouted to him, “I’m in the garden, sweetheart. Please go back to bed and wait for me. You will be safe in your bed.”

Instead of heading back to bed, he ran to the garden door and began to pull. The ancient latch was heavy and difficult even for an adult to slide, and I knew he could not open it. I prayed, God, our Rock, please hold us in this storm. Protect us and deliver us.

“Mommy, I can rescue you. Don’t be afraid,” his little voice said from the other side of the door.

As sand blinded my eyes and I covered my head to keep from being hit by debris, I shouted, “The door is too heavy, honey. Let’s pretend we are turtles like your pet Toby. Cover your head and crouch down by the door with me.”

He didn’t answer, and I hoped he was doing what I asked.

A moment later, the door I was leaning on fell open with a crash, and I landed in the floor. My little one was standing beside me smiling from ear to ear, his favorite plastic triceratops in his hand. Showing me his strong arms, he said with glee, “I used my muscles and his horn and pushed the button Mommy! I saved you! I could hear you praying.”

Through my tears I wrapped my arms around him as we huddled in the floor while the storm subsided. In my heart, I stored up treasure, like Mary. For storms that would come later in life.

We often talk about that day he “saved me.” Now a young man, he still remembers every detail.  His younger siblings love to hear the story of the day Mommy prayed to God the Rock, and big brother came to the rescue.

Then the Lord said, “There is a place here by me where you may stand on a rock.”
-Exodus 33:21

There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. -I Samuel 2:2

Our God is a Rock, and there is none like Him. In times of confusion and fear, there is a place by Him where we may stand. And rescue may come from where we least expect it. Let's change our expectations. God is raising up a generation of Rescuers who will stand upon this Rock and lead many to safety in the days to come.

Our nation is changing. Our world is changing. Maybe today your health is changing, your family is changing, things secure yesterday are no longer secure. Like tree limbs flying around in a storm, life seems to be falling apart, dangerous.

Breathe deep and know that God does not change and shift. He is a Sure Foundation, a Constant Shelter, an Absolute Truth. Dig deeper into His Word today and let the constance of His love and truth anchor you in the storms of life. And pray for the next generation of Rescuers.

This storm will pass, and our Rock will remain.

Have you passed through storms on the Rock? Won’t you share your story in the comments section below? Someone might need it today.

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