Philippians 4:6

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.


Today, I am grateful.

I took two of my boys and their friends to Lake DeGray in Arkansas this week. Yesterday, we enjoyed the sunshine while tubing and knee boarding. Because school had started in many places, we were literally the only boat on the lake.

After a couple of hours, we noticed some dark clouds off in the distance and I kept a watchful eye. I remembered a similar day a few years ago when we dodged storm clouds. God’s glory displayed itself as we saw both ends of the rainbow across the lake. That scene was breathtaking.

Yesterday was not that day. To my dismay, the weather conditions changed quickly.

Those dark clouds were accompanied by bolts of lightning. Lots of lightning. We discussed our options and decided to try to make it back to the marina. Halfway there, the storm hovered directly in our path, so we turned back.

Going as far as the boat rental company allowed, we sat, hoping the storm would travel south of us. When that didn’t happen, we braced for the storm. The rain became a wall of water. We were all drenched in seconds and could see nothing around us. Just rain. Then hail hit. With no visibility, our sunny, hot day at the lake became cold, scary and painful.

I tried to stay calm, but fear struck my heart. I simply did not know what to do.

But pray. While we laughed and joked, I’m pretty sure all four boys were also praying. One even remarked, “I’m sure glad I know where I’m going!” Another asked, “where?” “Heaven,” he shouted back over the roar of the rain.

Eventually, the sky to the north of us lightened some, so I decided to head that way, slowly. I no longer cared whether we were breaking the rules, we just needed out of the deluge.

I’m kind of embarrassed to share this story. I keep replaying it in my mind, trying to decide what I could have done differently. Maybe there’s a lesson in it.

The reminder and lesson for me? Sometimes in the middle of our personal storms, we, too, experience low visibility. We can’t see what’s in front of us, and we panic. But no matter our storm, we can trust Jesus. He knew exactly what we were going to see that day. He took care of us and gave us a lesson in gratefulness and an experience we will never forget.

Maybe God wants to show you something through our experience. The disciples once called out to Jesus to save them from a storm and he delivered them. Jesus is our protector, our deliverer. Sometimes we just need to hang on and ride out the storm.

After the storm? We took a break and grabbed ice cream and snacks. Then we went right back on the water and enjoyed the rest of the day on an empty lake.