Monday, May 02, 2011

Praising God in the Storm

Last Wednesday brought 18 tornadoes to the Chattanooga area alone. There is total devastation in many towns in our area. 73 people just in our area alone died in those storms. It is heartbreaking. I work in television news, so we see and hear a lot that the general public doesn't. As we rode out the storms at the TV station, our meteorologist spent the long day on air telling folks when to take cover. For me, as for many of you, it was a day full of anxiety...a day full of prayer. I spent much time asking God to please protect Chattanooga. As the day went on, we got word that parts of Alabama had been devastated as well. Tuscaloosa, where my mom, stepdad brothers, and friends live, just devastated. My co-workers told me, "Nicole, call your family... make sure they're okay." So I did. I was so happy when my step-dad answered the phone. Nearby where my dad and stepmom live-- same type story. But everyone is okay there as well.

So, as the night progressed, the storms got worse here in the Tennessee Valley. We learned after a really bad round, folks were trapped in homes in three different towns in our area. People were dying because no one could get to them. Rescue workers had to leave neighborhoods where people were screaming for help to take cover from another tornado. In our newsroom, we listened to all of this on the scanners. It was heartbreaking. As a journalist, I can usually put up a wall... to keep from feeling anything in sad stories, but Wednesday. April 27th, 2011, was just too much. I broke down-- and cried-- on more than one occasion.

I know how difficult it can be to praise God in the storm. I've been there. When the worst happens. When you believe God for a miracle and that miracle doesn't happen. When you trust Him with your whole heart and you don't get the answer you were looking for. Luckily my family and myself are safe. We didn't receive damage. We were lucky. But my prayer tonight is that those who were affected, those who lost their homes-- or worse-- lost someone they loved-- will run to the Lord, not run away. Because He is our refuge in time of need. He loves us. Despite the circumstances, He loves us. There were entire families who died together in this storm. I just can't imagine. I pray tonight that Jesus will wrap His arms around those who are hurting and give them peace.

1 comment:

Odie Langley said...

Yes, it was a horrible thing and when the first wave hit in NC it touched down in Roanoke Rapids just 5 miles from my house. We received no damage and it is really hard to get a feel for what happened when you were not affected by the damage. I know there are so many people hurting and I pray God will comfort them.