When the storms rage in and the rains fall in sheets, it can be pretty scary. I remember when I was a little girl, a tornado blew up across the field from our house. My mom pulled my brothers and I down into the cellar, but she wouldn't get down there with us. She stood at the top of the stairs, watching...listening...waiting. I caught a glimpse of the sky outside the windows. I've never seen green like that before...thick...dangerous...menacing.
Water was standing in the bottom of the cellar--the cellar I wasn't even aware was there until that day. My brothers were jumping around in it, laughing, playing, not acting as if--at any second--the house could be blown away right over our heads. But I stood still, my heart thundering inside of me, my eyes dancing between my little brothers and my mother's worried face at the top of the stairs. She told us to sing, so I did..."Jesus loves me, this I know." Over and over again, I sang with a voice uncertain and afraid.
When I was seventeen, I was in California for the very first time. I was excited because I might see a movie star, see the Pacific and see my handsome boyfriend graduate from the United States Marine Corps basic training. On the first night, his sisters and I were about fifteen floors up in a Holiday Inn hotel in L.A. Everyone had fallen asleep, the room was pitch black, and suddenly, the hangers and door chain began to clatter as they swung back and forth. At first, I thought someone was trying to break in to our room, but then the entire room began to sway...and then the building began to move in a circular motion. I sat straight up in the bed on hands and knees, and cried out, "Jesus, save us!" I said the same thing over and over again until the earthquake was over. I didn't feel the least bit silly about it, either. I knew that earthquakes were serious...and that the only one that could help me in this situation was my Heavenly Father.
Now as a mother, I've had to take my children down to the basement several times. Sirens blare and rain and hail pelt the windows. I still get a glimpse of that green sky beyond the windows...but somewhere in the midst, there is peace.
And would you believe me if I said I have felt several earthquakes since that first one in California...and that all the rest have been felt here in Indiana? Each time I wake up to the bed shaking and the windows rattling, I feel peace...
I stand in a grown-up world with a far different view from that of a child's, and I find other things more frightening than tornadoes and earthquakes. The checking account is empty and bills are due. Children are sick and running high fevers...and I don't know how to make them feel better. Jobs are lost and new ones are hard to find. Wars rage in distant lands and I wonder what it all means. My heart can ache, feel lonely, and my mind can taunt me with past lies and failures. People say mean things, hurt me, wound me and leave me to figure it all out and heal on my own. You're told to, "Put on your big girl panties and move on," but sometimes, big girl panties do nothing to help the situation. Life can stink...and I can stand in the middle of it and not come up with a single solution. I can't change this. I can't make it better. This is all far bigger than me...like tornadoes and earthquakes.
But I know a single, simple truth that will carry me through:
God will fight for me. He will carry me when I cannot walk much more. He will wrap His arms around me and hold me in a bear hug until the pain fades away. He will breathe new life into me when this world tries to steal my joy. He never gives up on me even when I give up on Him. Those promises that He placed in my heart? Well, no matter how much times passes, He always fulfills them. He will not leave me alone. He will not make me stand alone. If I get scared and run, He will chase after me...because HE WILL fight for me.
"God will fight the battle for you." Exodus 14:14 (Message)
I don't need big muscles because my God has the biggest of them all...and He uses every single one of them to fight for me.