I never thought I’d say I survived a tornado. But in early August, that’s exactly what happened. A tornado blew right over our house at 3:00 in the morning. There was no time to prepare, no time to move to a “safer” spot.
The power went out, my breathing machine quit, and the tornado hit. All of a sudden the whole house shook and I could barely hear my parents just a few feet away as they entered my room. In less than a minute, I went from the calmness of sleep to fearing for our lives. I thought the worst was happening while I lay in bed unable to get up and do anything.
After calling for my parents, the only thing I remember saying was, “Oh my gosh! What is happening?” Except deep down I knew the answer. A tornado. Something I hoped we wouldn’t experience again.
The tornado left almost as soon as it arrived. The rest of the night, and the three weeks to follow, were a whirlwind of logistics and trying to recover.
When the flurry of activity and constant noise of chainsaws or hammering calmed down, I found the space in my mind to understand my experience. I found words for my emotions.
In the middle of the storm, I felt helpless.I couldn’t help myself out of bed. Mostly I was concerned for my parents. I couldn’t help them if they were hurt and needed me.
This revelation was eye-opening and brought clarity to my reaction of the ongoing pandemic. At the beginning of the quarantine in March, I was so afraid and anxious. If we weren’t going to have caregivers coming in each week, where was my safety net? What, or who, was my backup plan if something happened to my parents?
In the middle of a pandemic, I feel the weight of my needs. The fact is I am dependent on people for my care. I’ve always carried a fear of the unknowns, the “what-ifs” of the future. The covid-19 pandemic and the tornado stirred up those fears even more.
Can I trust God to provide in the present?
Can I trust God with my future?
The answer is yes! I may not believe the answer right away. I might feel doubt and questions and worry before I sit in God’s promises and see the evidence of provision in my daily life. That doesn’t mean He’s isn’t working on my behalf nor does it mean that He isn’t with us at all times; God is always with us…in the middle of a pandemic or a tornado…while we live with fears in our hearts, circumstances we wouldn’t choose, health challenges we wish would go away, or dreams that just aren’t coming to fruition.
So what has God’s provision looked like? Here are examples from recent months:
- When virus fears were high, my best friend texted and told me over the phone, “I will hop in my car and head your way if you ever need me. I’d take care of you.”
- When isolation was wearying, a friend and I connected weekly via FaceTime to pray for each other.
- When toilet paper was running low and hard to find locally, we ordered some online and it finally showed up after sitting at the delivery warehouse for two weeks. Yes, we were quite excited to see the truck deliver the big box.
- When days were lonely, another friend sent video messages and reminders that I am not alone.
- When summer arrived, God provided time outside with people. I was invited to a cookout, and had spontaneous visits from friends. I also started to think about how to do community these days via walks and sitting on my driveway.
- When the tornado hit, God protected everyone’s lives, and neighbors rallied to check on one another and help clean up the mess.
There are so many other ways God provides. My parents and I have a new kind of freedom because no caregivers are coming in yet. I don’t have to shower on a schedule. I can stay up later or sleep in as necessary. Provision has meant strength to sustain my parents, rest when we need it, and everything else I mentioned. God gives daily bread, enough for the present day.
What has provision looked like in your life?
(Download a pdf to explore this question on your own.)