THIS POST HAS BEEN WRITTEN BY AMY WILSON
Just before 3 A.M., my eyes popped open. I wasn’t sure what awoke me until flashes of light lit up the room followed by rolling thunder. Elbowing my husband, I asked him to go close the window in my son’s room so the noise wouldn’t wake him. I stayed curled up in my warm bed but anxious thoughts and the storm just beyond my window kept me awake. Each clap of thunder increased the unsettledness in my heart. Each bright burst of light exposed my anxiety. It scared me, intimidated me. I cowered in my bed, like a child pulling the covers up over my head, just wanting it to be over.
Nothing can revert me back to childhood quite like a good thunderstorm.
I am reminded of Sunday’s sermon on Mark 4 where Pastor Ajay preached about the disciples being in a storm on a lake while Jesus slept. We were in our basement, Silas off to the side at a small table sifting through uncooked rice in a sensory bin while Chris and I sat on the couch with our hot coffee. This is church now in the midst of Covid-19. Silas’s ears perked up when he heard Pastor Ajay say hurricane…”I know about hurricanes!” He abandoned his play and nestles between Chris and me. Nothing can grab his attention quite like a natural disaster. His next question is, “Mama, what’s a mega storm?” Pastor Ajay was really speaking this four year old’s love language. After explaining what a mega storm was and how this coronavirus was like a storm he exclaims, “Covid-19 is taking too long to be under control!” He echoed what many of us feel.
The storm of Covid-19 is raging around us. Those on the front lines are short on supplies, working long hours and feeling isolated from family and loved ones as they distance themselves for fear of being carriers. Those of us at home grapple with how we can serve in this unprecedented time. People are losing jobs. People are struggling with their mental health. People are getting sick and dying. The wave rises steadily, getting bigger, gaining momentum, leaving us wondering, “Oh Lord, when will you say ‘Peace be Still’?”.
This morning, the sky is bright blue and there is little evidence of the storm the night before, just a few birds bathing and splashing in some puddles in the driveway. As family we are reading, What Every Child Should Know about Prayer by Nancy Guthrie; a treasured book gifted to us by dear friends for Silas’s 3rd birthday. It has ministered to my own heart many times. We settled in to read today’s pages. Excerpt from the book:
The Psalms Help Us Trust God. Everybody is afraid sometimes. When we feel afraid, we can pray the words of the psalms. The psalms help us remember we have a strong God who is able to keep us safe.”
Psalm 4:8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe
Psalm 56:3 But when I’m afraid, I will put my trust in you.
Psalm 16:8 I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
God was showing me, reminding me that as I cower, pulling covers over my head, wishing and wanting the storm to end, feeling so small, so helpless, I can pray simple, childlike prayers. Oh Lord, I’m scared. When I’m afraid I put my trust in you.
As God’s might displayed in a thunderstorm can revert me to childhood, so can His tenderness in a children’s prayer book.