Faith, Fear, Trials

Storms: When We Are Afraid

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

Have I mentioned I’m not a fan of tornadoes? They scare me. They always have. From the time I rode in a car as a girl following a huge storm to hearing alerts recently? Yep. They strike that cord of fear in my heart. 

Clouds had filled and then darkened the sky for the past few hours one recent day. I had taken one of the boys to a doctor’s appointment. While there, my phone signaled that we were under a severe thunderstorm warning.

I live in Colorado. 

This is not uncommon.

I dropped said boy off at home and hurried to fill a prescription for him. 

It was while I waited at the pharmacy that things became frantic.

I received a text from a friend staying with us saying we were under a tornado WARNING. Not watch. 

Warning.

My heart jolted at those words. We hadn’t actually been under a tornado warning in years. 

My first instinct was to forget the prescription and rush home. My two boys were there, along with my friend and her daughter. 

Our county is one of the largest in the state. I wondered where the tornado had been sighted. Where the storm was. Sure, we had clouds overhead, but nothing ominous like the warning indicated.

Thank goodness for weather apps. As I read the warning, and checked the map, the worst of the storm was to the southwest of us. 

As I paid for the medicine, one of the boys called me. Panicked. Begging me to come home. Right. Now. 

The funny thing is? I understood his stark fear. I did. 

But I had information he didn’t have. Yes, it was remotely possible that storm would head our way before I made it home. But it would have had to move impossibly fast.

But my boy? All he knew was that we were under a tornado warning. And I wasn’t home. 

I paid for the prescription and hurried home. There was that niggling fear shimmering in my spirit, but my head told me I would be fine.

We would be fine.

I wasn’t even out of the car before my son shot into the garage to drag me inside the house. 

Sometimes, storms will hit us hard. We might get the warnings that they are coming. It’s then that we have to make a choice. 

Too often, I’ve chosen to react in fear when that call comes saying they need to re-do a test. Or that something might be wrong with one of the boys. Or my hubby. Or that the job is on the line.

What I’ve learned is that fear is not my only choice.

Because I have a Father who loves me. He’s given His word to hold me steady. Just like I had that app to verify the big picture—the storm wasn’t close enough to bring a tornado our way—God’s word shows us the big picture.

He is in control. Most of the time the worst case scenario doesn’t become reality. 

But sometimes, yes, it does.

Truth is: even when the worst case possibility becomes real, we have a Father walking through it with us.

Yes, we will feel fear, but we don’t have to succumb to it. We will probably worry (because let’s face it, most of us do at least a little bit of this). But we don’t have to stay stuck in that place.

When the worst happens, we have Someone who loves us. Someone who will direct our steps. Someone who is never surprised when life’s storms hit us. Hard.

We can choose to look to Him. 

To trust Him. 

To rest in Him. 

He is our quiet place. Our calm place when the storm rages all around and within us.

For us . . . the tornado warning did pass. We had lots of lightning, thunder, and much-needed rain. 

And God kept us safe. 

Sometimes we worry because we don’t know the full picture. 

What we must remember is that we are cared for and loved by the One who sees it all.

What about you? When have you seen God guide you during unexpected storms? What is the kind of weather or physical force that most affects you?

Click to Tweet: Even when the worst case possibility becomes real, we have a Father walking through it with us

I’m linking up with #RaRaLinkup, #TellHisStory, and #Holley Gerth

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14 thoughts on “Storms: When We Are Afraid”

  1. I’ve never experienced a tornado as we don’t tend to get them here but I do get anxious when there’s a weather warning for strong winds so I think I would have the same reaction as your son! Thanks for the reminder that fear is a choice- it doesn’t always feel like that but it’s true that while we may not be able to stop ourselves from feeling fear, we don’t have to give into it. It is so comforting to know that God sees the big picture and that even when we do face storms he is with us.

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    1. Lesley, like you, I’m comforted by the truth that God sees everything, even though I only see the moment. I’m so glad He’s in charge of things, and that He is orchestrating the events in my life. When I remember that, it’s easier not to give in to fear. 🙂

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  2. So glad to know that God not only sees the bigger picture – but He is in control of the whole picture. I have to admit, too often I am on the other end. I see the warnings and alerts on my phone and think little of them – assuming they don’t “actually apply to my area.” I think I can make some practical (and powerful) applications in the direction as well!!

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    1. Yes, Jennifer. God is in control of the whole picture. I had to grin about the fact that you don’t really think much about the alerts and warnings. We’re all so different in how we navigate those, aren’t we? 🙂 I’m so glad you stopped by!

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  3. Jeanne, what a great post and something I’ve had to learn the hard way. A good object lesson that we are HIS children, and He knows how it’s all going to pan out.

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    1. Kathy, I have learned this the hard way too. Sigh. I’m so thankful for God’s patience with me when He has to bring the same sorts of lessons around in my life . . . again. It’s comforting to know that He knows how things are going to pan out in our lives. When we trust Him, worry can’t get that stranglehold on our hearts and thoughts, can it? Thank you so much for visiting!

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  4. I know my worst fears are a result of not seeing or knowing the whole picture. I have a habit of filling in the blanks and making it worse. I also am afraid of storms. Thank you for reminding us we are always protected by our God who never leaves our side.

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    1. Mary, I’m so with you. My worst fears often are the fruit of my imagination taking the limited information I have and crafting the worst case scenario, and then portraying that as reality in my head. I’m so thankful our Father is the One who never leaves our side!

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  5. We live in tornado country too! Thanks for the powerful reminder that even when we don’t feel safe we can know we’re secure because of Jesus. Whew.

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  6. This is full of such comforting truth, Jeanne. The line I keep going back to is this: “But I had information he didn’t have.” That was the case with you and your son, and I’m so glad it’s also the case with God and us. That He know when the storms are about to hit us and is always with us, no matter what. Hugs, friend!

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    1. Lois, that was the thing that so struck me in this experience! Just as I had information my boy didn’t have that day, God sees the full picture of the storms in my life, even when I only see a part. And because He sees it all, and He loves me/us, we don’t need to worry. We can lean hard into Him and glean from His strength in the weathering of the storms. Thank you for stopping by!

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