Thursday, May 10, 2012
Chased by the storm
My prayers most often take the form of lifting up to God the people and situations on my heart. I tend not to ask for specific outcomes, because I really do believe God knows what is best, that He can provide, and I trust Him. But I do find myself praying more fervently nowadays in regards to some specific things. Most recently was Friday night. After watching advance forecasts all week (and I'm pretty sure even before I left work about 1 a.m. Friday) and seeing only a 10 percent chance of rain for the time of Cooke County's Relay for Life, I noticed later Friday morning that the forecast now included a 30 percent chance of rain during the key hours of 6 to 11 p.m. It also noted that isolated thunderstorms were possible, some severe. I tried not to let this worry me, but as I was nearing the Gainesville High School site just before 7 p.m., I finally prayed aloud. I really wanted to ask God not to let it rain. But I just could not ask that. Instead, I acknowledged God as the creator and controller of the sun, moon, wind, rain, clouds, storms, Relay and all the people involved. I did tell Him I hoped it would not rain out the event, which of course God already knew was my hope. But I said I trust Him and would praise Him whatever the outcome, and that I just wanted Him to be glorified. To try to keep a long story short, I'll say Relay got off to a great start. My mom is a longtime cancer survivor, and now we've recently lost Daddy to cancer. The significance of Relay to support and celebrate and remember those touched by cancer and to raise awareness and money for research for a cure was heightened. My niece was the captain for our team, from the church where her family, her mom and my mom are members. We had a great team, including the energy from a 4 and 8 year old, and most of us were looking forward to participating all night. But less than two hours in, the weather became more of a concern. By 8:45, we were directed to the school's cafeteria, where we hoped to be able to ride out the isolated severe storm and then return to the stadium to resume Relay. But about 10:15 -- 15 minutes before we were to return to the field -- the school site lost power except for backup generators. And so we were sent home. This is the second time I have been involved in Gainesville's Relay with my family. As with this year, in 2006 we got chased off the field by a storm before 10 p.m., missing the symbolic heart of the event. I don't understand why God lets storms interrupt worthwhile events. But that is part of life. And we know that sometimes the storms cause more than disruptions; they can be deadly and destructive to lives and homes. But from all I've ever seen, heard about or experienced, when the people involved trust God and praise God, they find a sense of peace. People work together to make the most of less than ideal situations. And God is glorified.