Field Notes From A Prayer Warrior

Seek shelter immediately…

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

–Joshua 1:9

I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.

–Philippians 4:13

For over all, His glory will be shelter and protection: shade from the parching heat of day, refuge and cover from storm and rain.

–Isaiah 4:6

I was making dinner…

BRRRRAAAACK! BRRAAACK!!! BRRAAAACKK!!!!

“Attention. Attention. This is an emergency. Severe weather approaching. Seek shelter immediately…”

Heart thudding. Mouth dry.

“…in…Sioux Falls…at… approximately…5:05…PM.”

Check clock. 4:55.

Sprint to front door. Open up to…towering black clouds…and that freaky yellow cast in the sky that every Midwesterner knows.

And dreads.

Fling porch furniture into house. Grab food. Boots. Bible. Flashlight. Down the stairs.

My racing mind stumbles on an old punk song…

“Sitting in a foxhole, waiting for a bomb! Sitting in a foxhole, waiting for a BOMB!”

On the basement floor, up against the wall, I recite Joshua 1:9 a couple times and then just dig in…flipping through and reading whatever jumps off the pages…

Trying to focus on something other than the roar of a thousand airplanes and freight trains above my head and rooftop…

I burrow into a chapter, punctuate it with prayer. A warm measure of peace. A thought invades…”What if this is…it?” Not with fear…but…hmm…with curiosity…

“Well, if it is…I’m in good company…me, the Lord, and the Word.”

It persists…”Okay, so, what if…not death…what if…there’s damage? That tree? That power line? What if this whole structure caves in and I’m TRAPPED BENEATH THE RUBBLE?!”

Another voice responds, “With Me you will be able to deal with anything that happens. And right now I’m helping you deal with THIS. In this moment. Just this, Shelbo.”

I thank Him and move on…praying for neighbors, for friends, for the city…and, as a multitude of sirens begin to pierce the evening air, for first responders.

I blink away the onslaught of dust and debris as I step out into a topsy-turvy world of houses stripped of shingles and siding, uprooted and twisted trees, and neighbors silently shuffling amidst it all.

I lift up my head and my heart in praise to Him Who’d carried us through, and in gratitude for an intact home…and body…and most of all…soul.

Psalm 91:1-2–He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in Whom I trust.”

In the many storms of life, we don’t have to go it alone…

When they hit…

Get into the Word…

Get into His Presence…

Seek Shelter immediately!

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