When the Storm Passes By

My eyes were glued to the television. The house was dark and quiet with the exception of my husband’s snores and an occasional rumble of thunder in the distance. The storm was coming.

I leaned back in my chair, my body as heavy as my lids, and listened. “Cedartown, Lindale, Euharlee please take cover. Get into an interior room or basement away from windows. Pine Log, we expect to see this headed your way in the next twenty minutes…” Tornados ripped their way through my state as I watched on TV.

I found my city and stared at the deep red streaks across the radar map leading right to me. We were right in the path of the storm. My stomach flipped and fluttered at the thought of waking the kids to bring them downstairs. With two story walls of windows at the front and back of the house and no basement, I mentally walked through each room looking for a safe spot. After finding it, I wondered at the idea of pulling the crib mattress downstairs to cover the kids.

My attention turned back to the weather forecaster as she threw out words like Viper Tornado Index and death toll. The kitchen clock blurred. 1:03 a.m. Videos of monster-wide twisters from Alabama played across the screen. I blinked my eyes shut and opened them again to see the menacing red enemy creeping closer to my town. Blink. Closer. Blink. And closer.

One more blink – and the ugly splash of red was to the east of us. One county over was taking cover while crickets chirped outside my window.

The storm had passed us by.

Sometimes you find yourself in the eye of the storm, and others it marches right by. Praise God for the passing!

Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. 


Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

How long will you people turn my glory into shame? 


How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?

Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.

Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the LORD.

Many, LORD, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?” 


Let the light of your face shine on us.

Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound.

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, 


make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 4 NIV

Carol

When Friends Betray You

If you dig down enough, the tender spots are still there. Betrayal runs deep.

“Every time I call, her mom says she can’t come to the phone,” I shared with my own mother, confused. I was sixteen and had been in my first wreck. I was driving with one of my best friends when I turned left in front of an on-coming car. It struck us on the passenger side where she sat and pushed us through the intersection.

When the firemen arrived on the scene, they carefully pulled open the door for my friend so the shattered window wouldn’t fall in her lap. Her head hit the window on impact. Neither of us had a scratch, but the EMT suggested we take a visit to the hospital anyway – just to be safe.

Climbing in the ambulance scared me almost as much as the crash. Questions dashed here and there, so I couldn’t get a handle on any of them. I reverted to the simple and told the paramedics again and again, “I’m diabetic. I’m insulin dependent.” And I held out my wrist with Medic Alert dangling as if to ward off the IV poles and tubing all around me.

“It’s okay.” They assured me and patted my leg. “You are fine.”

The rest of the night was a blur. My aunt and uncle coming to the hospital in place of my parents who were at the lake. The tiny room made from a curtain pulled around a bed. And the safety pins my aunt brought for the drafty hospital gown.

I don’t remember leaving the hospital, but I do remember calling the next day to check on my friend. Each time I dialed I heard the same. “She is resting.” “She can’t come to the phone.” “Can she call you back?” Only she never did.

I didn’t intend to wreck my car that night. I wasn’t trying to harm my BFF, but she turned her back to me nonetheless. I cried for weeks – maybe months. I felt betrayed.

One day we were besties, and the next day we were nothing.

Taking that into mind, I can’t even wrap my mind around what Jesus went through that night in the Garden. Jesus took three of his closest friends with him to Gethsemane. Understanding what was about to happen, Christ told them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” (Mark 14:34 NIV) He desperately needed some time alone with His Father. He asked his three buddies to keep watch while He prayed.

Instead they fell asleep. Christ was in agony, while his friends were catching some shut-eye. Ever feel like no one cares what you are going through? I’m sure Jesus felt the same. After waking the disciples, the praying/sleeping scenario happened two more times. Peter, James, and John just couldn’t keep their eyes open. I can only imagine the frustration to find them sleeping that third time. Just then, Judas approaches with an angry mob or crowd armed with swords and clubs. (v. 43)

He boldly walks right up to Jesus and betrays Him with a kiss.

As the guards began the arrest, chaos begins. Then everyone deserted him and fled. (Mark 14:50 NIV) Let that sink in a moment.

Then everyone deserted him and fled.


Betrayal hurts. Even if you are the Son of God.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Hebrews 4:15 NIV

Being a Christian doesn’t mean you are immune to bad things. It doesn’t mean your friends will never betray you. Christ’s did. Why should we be any different?

Being a Christian means that disloyalty won’t keep you down. God conquered betrayal and death. Jesus was crucified as a result of Judas’ treachery. But friends, death could not keep Him in the grave. Don’t let a betrayal be the death of you.

Stand tall. It may be Friday, but Sunday’s coming.

Carol

When Friends Betray You

If you dig down enough, the tender spots are still there. Betrayal runs deep.

“Every time I call, her mom says she can’t come to the phone,” I shared with my own mother, confused. I was sixteen and had been in my first wreck. I was driving with one of my best friends when I turned left in front of an on-coming car. It struck us on the passenger side where she sat and pushed us through the intersection.

When the firemen arrived on the scene, they carefully pulled open the door for my friend so the shattered window wouldn’t fall in her lap. Her head hit the window on impact. Neither of us had a scratch, but the EMT suggested we take a visit to the hospital anyway – just to be safe.

Climbing in the ambulance scared me almost as much as the crash. Questions dashed here and there, so I couldn’t get a handle on any of them. I reverted to the simple and told the paramedics again and again, “I’m diabetic. I’m insulin dependent.” And I held out my wrist with Medic Alert dangling as if to ward off the IV poles and tubing all around me.

“It’s okay.” They assured me and patted my leg. “You are fine.”

The rest of the night was a blur. My aunt and uncle coming to the hospital in place of my parents who were at the lake. The tiny room made from a curtain pulled around a bed. And the safety pins my aunt brought for the drafty hospital gown.

I don’t remember leaving the hospital, but I do remember calling the next day to check on my friend. Each time I dialed I heard the same. “She is resting.” “She can’t come to the phone.” “Can she call you back?” Only she never did.

I didn’t intend to wreck my car that night. I wasn’t trying to harm my BFF, but she turned her back to me nonetheless. I cried for weeks – maybe months. I felt betrayed.

One day we were besties, and the next day we were nothing.

Taking that into mind, I can’t even wrap my mind around what Jesus went through that night in the Garden. Jesus took three of his closest friends with him to Gethsemane. Understanding what was about to happen, Christ told them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” (Mark 14:34 NIV) He desperately needed some time alone with His Father. He asked his three buddies to keep watch while He prayed.

Instead they fell asleep. Christ was in agony, while his friends were catching some shut-eye. Ever feel like no one cares what you are going through? I’m sure Jesus felt the same. After waking the disciples, the praying/sleeping scenario happened two more times. Peter, James, and John just couldn’t keep their eyes open. I can only imagine the frustration to find them sleeping that third time. Just then, Judas approaches with an angry mob or crowd armed with swords and clubs. (v. 43)

He boldly walks right up to Jesus and betrays Him with a kiss.

As the guards began the arrest, chaos begins. Then everyone deserted him and fled. (Mark 14:50 NIV) Let that sink in a moment.

Then everyone deserted him and fled.


Betrayal hurts. Even if you are the Son of God.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Hebrews 4:15 NIV

Being a Christian doesn’t mean you are immune to bad things. It doesn’t mean your friends will never betray you. Christ’s did. Why should we be any different?

Being a Christian means that disloyalty won’t keep you down. God conquered betrayal and death. Jesus was crucified as a result of Judas’ treachery. But friends, death could not keep Him in the grave. Don’t let a betrayal be the death of you.

Stand tall. It may be Friday, but Sunday’s coming.

Carol

Armor On

Do you have on your armor? Join me at The Presidential Prayer Team to read my devotion there today. Click HERE.

***I will remind you again – this link is only good for my devotion today (April 21). After today it will be linked to the devotion for tomorrow. You can not reach my devotion in the archives, so you’ll have to read it today. Sorry!

I encourage you to sign up for the email on the Presidential Prayer Team website. This is an incredible site that will keep you in the know about politics and those who lead our government. May I encourage you to pray for our nation’s leaders?


Carol

Salad Bar Bible


I treat my Bible like the salad bar at Denny’s.


No, I don’t load it up with cucumber slivers and bacon bits. The thought of blue cheese drizzling over the gold-edged pages, pooling on top of, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob,” clearly makes me cringe…



I’m over at the Internet Cafe today. Come on by to READ MORE of my devotion.

Carol