Treasures in a Storm
by Jeanne Dennis
Hurricanes Irma and Harvey brought devastation, displacement, and destruction to millions of people. Sadly, many have died as a result of these storms.
But good things also came because of the storm. Our blessings included concentrated time with our daughter’s family we would not have had otherwise. We evacuated to their home hours away and stayed a few days. I want to tell you about some of the wonderful moments we enjoyed as a result of having to evacuate.
Prayer and Bible Time
Every morning, our daughter, who homeschools, studies the Bible and prays with her children. We always enjoy the chance to participate in these times. Our daughter reads the passage. Then the children ask questions or share their insights about the reading. At the end, everyone who wants to pray aloud does so in turn.
It amazes us to hear the children’s insights. And it thrills our hearts to hear their prayers. Because we get to witness how they are growing in their faith and understanding of God’s Word.
The Fleeting Image of Childhood
One afternoon, our granddaughter Emma asked me to draw with her. Emma drew a scene of two girls by some trees. The other two children sat opposite me, engaged in their own activities. So one at a time, I drew portraits of all three grandchildren.
But Emma’s portrait challenged me to my core. My drawing looked like that of a woman in her twenties instead of a girl of almost twelve. What a shock to see her as she might look in ten years! Desperately, I tried to make her look her age, because seeing her all grown up upset me.
Finally, I was able to adjust the shadowing to make her look her age. But the shock remained. It brought home the fact that childhood passes like a sunny day. It’s here, then gone. That’s why it’s essential to guide our children in the truth while there’s still time. I felt blessed for that tangible reminder to remain a good and strong influence in my grandchildren’s lives.
Because next week is the 230th anniversary of the Constitution of the United States, the three grandchildren and I read Kathy Maggart’s book The 1947 Freedom Train. We talked about our constitutional form of government, about the meaning and blessings of freedom, and about the train that carried our founding documents around the country to encourage people after World War II. We all enjoyed reliving that slice of history together.
Watching God Answer Prayers
At one point, meteorologists predicted Irma would go right over us as a category 2 hurricane. I thanked God we had come when I watched my husband and son-in-love work together to get the house and yard ready. Later, the family read Bible verses together about God’s power over storms. We talked about trusting God no matter what the outcome. Then we each prayed fervently for Jesus to calm the storm and our hearts.
Our seven-year-old grandson especially prayed with gusto, “God, please make that hurricane stop, drop, and . . . and just sink into the ocean!”
The result: we had only some wind and rain. The hurricane had downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it reached us.
Mother and Daughter Talk
One of the greatest blessings among many was time with my daughter. Oh, how precious time to talk with her has become! As a result of our homeschooling, my daughter and I became best friends and have stayed best friends. But as a busy, homeschooling, working mother of three, she doesn’t have much time to talk on the phone. Every now and then we text. And once or twice a month we talk on the phone. But during Irma, we talked for hours. What a treasure!
More than anything, God’s peace became our storm treasure. We reviewed Philippians 4:6 together:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
We experienced God’s peace. That peace that passes understanding even in the midst of fear, turmoil, and trouble. We pray for you and your family to be filled with that same peace today and every day.
© Jeanne Gowen Dennis
Our prayers are with all of the people suffering because of Irma and Harvey and due to the fires raging in the West and other places. May the God of peace fill you with His peace, comfort, and provision.
What about you? What has been your family’s experience during Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Harvey, or the fires in Montana, California, and elsewhere? How does your family draw together and seek God in times of trouble? Please share in the comments below.