Oh, my friends... the last twenty-four hours have been a real test of my trusting God. Christopher was going to stay on campus due to severe weather and flooding last night but my cell phone rang at about 2:00 am (when he is still out, I keep the cell phone by my bed). He was telling me he had to come home as his friend's apartment must have mold in it. He's never had a problem there before but he hadn't been there when it rained so much, either.
So... he walked over half a mile in wind and rain (and cold) to the car and his phone went out just as he told me there were "scary people" in the parking lot. I didn't hear from him until he arrived home about half an hour later (not knowing if the roads were flooded). He arrived home to a cup of hot Candy Cane Lane tea and a Benedryl waiting (his eyes were swollen so he had been having an allergic reaction).
I prayed and watched a TV show about a family that had lots of kids (not the Duggars). Since I know quite a few families with many children, I don't see what the big deal is but this particular family was charming. They also had one thing after another go wrong while up against a deadline and I loved the way they were handling it... just like the rest of us with a combination of faith and coming unglued. So much for middle-of-the-night TV.
Then my husband had a very late start driving to his sister's house near Chicago early this morning. It is a long trip. I kept reminding myself that I had to TRUST GOD. So often peace doesn't come until I get in the Psalms, do some deep breathing, and eat chocolate. Okay, sometimes I don't eat chocolate but I continue until I feel the tension leave. We're all going on a small amount of sleep and probably too much caffeine. :)
I was chatting with a couple of friends recently (one on the phone and one through e-mail) about the warning a famous pastor sent out to his readers. He often writes about the difficult times in which we live but in this message, he felt God was leading him to recommend people have a month's worth of food in the house (and any other necessities such as prescriptions).
He's not a wacko (I suppose some would think he is just by sending out such a recommendation) but it is his church that Mike Huckabee mentioned he attends when in New York.
Anyhoo, my two friends and I were talking about fear and doing things out of fear or out of wisdom. I do know an awful lot of people have been "led" to deepen their pantries this past year. My friend I was talking to on the phone lives in the desert area of New Mexico. She has always kept a good sized pantry but she started deepening it a few months ago. She's the friend I've mentioned whose grocery stores had empty shelves when trucks were diverted to the hurricane Katrina area.
I know everyone must do what they feel they should. In the late 1990's, I felt I should deepen my pantry more than I ever had before. Of course, I assumed it was because of the Y2k talk! However, my best friend at the time had no such leading but she felt their family should buy a generator.
Well, we ended up with our first year without an income during that time and because of the pantry, we didn't have to apply for food stamps. Since we were already homeschooling, we really didn't want to apply as one had to go through Child and Family Services and we weren't certain what they would say about homeschooling with no income (yes, some Family Service agencies were anti homeschooling).
My friend ended up moving soon after that to the mountains in Pennsylvania... where the power went out quite often! We a both had followed God's leading and we were both glad we had.
There are so many places in the Word that I go to when I get fearful but my favorite verse is "Perfect love casts out fear". It dawned on me years ago that it is not my love that must be perfect but trusting God because His love really is perfect.
Last night and early this morning, I kept telling Him that I want to be counted faithful. I want to stand before Him someday and instead of falling apart (as I felt like doing because of all the unknowns), at least I could say I trusted that His love is perfect and I will trust... no matter what circumstances look like.
Which, of course, implies that I can't let my imagination go wild. My husband used to travel a lot and he wasn't always good at checking in. (He was in the air on 9/11 and didn't think to call to let me know he was fine until that night!). I remember one evening when we lived in Eastern Iowa that we had very bad winter weather between where we lived and the airport in the Quad Cities. He arrived home hours late and I told him I already had him dead and buried and his insurance money spent in my mind. Sheesh...
In the years since then, I have learned to "take all thoughts captive". Peace is really our own choice. It is not easy in the midst of uncertain circumstances. However, it is a gift we can give our families and a gift we can lay at the feet of Jesus.
Now, if you'll excuse me I need to do more deep breathing exercises and open the Psalms. Since I had to get up very early this morning, I already have a lot of housework and laundry done so I think I may pop Persuasion in the DVD player, too. Yes, that all sounds soothing... :)