Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Tornado Warnings - 1/13/16

An Arkie's Faith column, from the January 13, 2016 issue of The Mena Star.

This past Christmas was a special one for our family. My son and daughter and their families spent several days with us. The house was filled with the happy sounds of four little girls. Christmas morning with its traditional breakfast and presents under the tree was blissful chaos. The weather was warm and beautiful and the girls spent the afternoon playing down by the creek.

Early Sunday morning we were awakened by tornado warnings. We got everyone up and crowded into our safest place, the downstairs hall. The little girls weren't happy to have to get up and go downstairs. They were frightened by the possibility of a tornado. The five year old said that Grandma’s house wouldn’t be fun to come to if the tornado took the roof off. After a half hour of listening to the scanner and tracking the storm on the radar, the warning expired and we all went back to bed.

The next morning after a good breakfast everyone was making plans to head out; my son and his family to Texas and my daughter and her family to Louisiana. While my son was loading up his car, our phones alerted us to another tornado warning.  We headed back to the hall. Our nerves were on edge as we again tracked the storm. The tornado warning passed but the heavy rains continued. We were concerned as my son and his family headed off into the storm.

As the heavy rain fell the creek behind our house flooded and covered the road. Our daughter and her family waited for the heavy rains to lessen before they started for home. When they got to DeQueen, there was a tornado warning for the area. The radar showed that as they turned east they would be traveling away from the storm so they kept going. As they neared Texarkana they were once again under a tornado warning. The only place with any safety they could find was under an overpass where they waited out the warning. Our son and his family also spent time under an overpass, and then found a safe place to wait out a storm in Mount Pleasant, Texas. When all of our family finally arrived at their destinations we were very relieved.

As I thought about how concerned we had been about the storms and how much we wanted safe travels for our children and their families, I was reminded of how much God cares about each one of us. 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT) tells us to, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you”. And in Isaiah 49:15 (NKJV) God says to us, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you”.

As much as we love our families and want what is best for them, as much as we are concerned about them and their safety, God loves us and wants what is best for us even more. No one cares more about your life than God. Anything that concerns you, concerns God. Anything that you're worried about, anything that you're afraid of, anything that keeps you up at night, anything that gets your attention gets God's attention. Remember, God cares about you.

God loves you, and not because of what you do. He loves you for who you are; His creation.  You might not think of yourself as anything special, but you are. You are an original. God made you on purpose. You were not an accident of fate or chance. The Bible says that when God created man and woman He “saw everything that He had made, indeed it was very good.” Genesis 1:31(NKJV) You are a creation of God and He is interested in the details of your life.

It’s an amazing fact. The same God who created the stars, the planets, the entire universe, created you. You are His masterpiece and He loves you.

As a parent and grandparent I realize that my relationship with my family and how I feel about them in a small way lets me know how God feels about me. At Christmas one of the ways that we show our love is by giving gifts. Jesus said in Matthew 7:11 (NLT), “If you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him”.

Remember, Gentle Reader, that as much as you care for your family, as much as you want to give them good gifts, God cares for you even more and offers you even better gifts. The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NKJV)

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