Y’all, I don’t even know how to explain this one or dress it up in fancy words. Last weekend we were hit by one of the terrible thunder storms that covered so much of Louisiana. It woke me up
at 3:00, and was so severe that I thought we might be in or about to be in a tornado. We had a nearly constant stream of hail, much of it larger than golf balls, severe winds, and water pouring down that was constant, so that you couldn’t hear any individual drops, just constant pouring. Lightning and thunder were strong and near. I immediately began considering if and where I should move my [literally could sleep through anything] children, and how to get them away from windows without waking them up, because the hail had become so severe I was afraid it would break our windows. I was and am amazed that they slept through it all. My phone in my hand, I tried to pull up a weather report to see if we were in a tornado. Loading…Loading…Loading…
I walked to the bathroom and crouched down, as years of living through tornados in Alabama had taught me almost nostalgically to do so. I thought, “I should pray.” I didn’t want to stop and pray until I knew the condition of the storm. I looked to the phone in my hand. Loading…Loading…Loading…
“I should pray,” I thought again.
I looked back at the phone. Still loading. I realized it didn’t matter what I knew about the weather, we just needed to survive this storm.
“God,” I said, “I’ve believed in You for ten years. Time to see that all those years of believing weren’t in vain.” I flung my phone into the corner. I knelt down, resting my head against the lid of the toilet while I concentrated. I always believed the verse James 1:6 – “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” So when I pray, I try my best to believe that what I ask will happen. This usually takes a few minutes for me, though. Every time I focused my mind on Jesus I seemed to fall into His arms in instant peace, but every time my inner gaze turned back to the storm, I felt ripped away from that embrace. I tried hard to hold onto Him, willing myself to remember all the love we had shared over the years, all the many things He had done for me and all the recorded miracles of His ministry.
Finally I felt I had focused enough. “Jesus, I love You,” I whispered. “Father,” I said aloud, “in the name of Jesus Christ my Lord, stop this hail.”
And it just stopped. There was no lessening, no slowing down, and no additional prayer was needed. It was just gone.
I waited and listened for the sound of it, assuming in my jaded heart that it was going to start back up in a minute and I was going to tell myself comforting excuses for why my prayers weren’t answered. But it was gone. Every so often, a stray piece of hail that had been stuck in the trees fell. But that was it. It was all gone.
After a few minutes, when I realized the prayer really had been answered, I shifted my focus to the wind. You would think that I would be filled with faith this point, but it was just the opposite: I was doubting what had just happened, and I was assuming that there was no way such a thing could happen twice.
But I focused, and this time said a longer prayer, to try and bolster my own faith. “Lord God,” I said, “I know your son Jesus calmed storms, and I know that Christ lives in me.” (Again, saying this to remind myself, not to impress God). “Father, I ask that through the Christ who lives in me, these winds will stop.”
Right then and there, the wind calmed around our house from howling down to a breeze.
It was beginning to dawn on me that maybe my prayers really had been answered and it was not just the fluke that my head kept telling me it must be.
I prayed once more, briefly, for the rain, not asking it to stop (because the ecosystem here seems to hinge on occasional flooding), but to lessen, and it did.
I went back to bed. My children never stirred.
My mother had been visiting at the time, on the same property but in a different house. I told her the next day, sort of half assuming that no one would believe me, since I was the one saying it and I still scarcely believed what I saw. But she said she did believe me. She said she had gone out at that hour, watching the frantic hail from the carport, and then, all at once, it just stopped.
Y’all have a good day, and stay warm and dry!
Morgan Grace Hart
Luke 8:22-25, Romans 8:11, Galatians 2:20, Colossians 1:27