Monday, April 26, 2010

Guest Writer Monday: Kelli

Kelli is our guest writer today! Her post hit close to home. Leave her some love.

The Answers We Want…and Sometimes Don’t

My six-year-old is desperately afraid of thunderstorms. He is so obsessed with weather that he studies it with the fervor of one who is trying to crack the genetic code to life itself. He checks out library books about storms, tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes. He watches the weather channel and keeps us abreast of the circulating patterns throughout the Continental US. He knows and can recite all thirteen states in Tornado Alley and knows the month and year that the largest F5 tornado occurred in Illinois.

In short, the kid knows weather. The only way I can describe his obsession is that he is trying to keep his enemy close. And at the mere sight of a dark cloud, he nervously recounts all of these facts in painful, dragged out detail. Like a skittish little bird he chirps on and on about wind gusts and storm warnings, until I find myself sucking in deep breaths because he doesn’t appear to be breathing himself.

It is a fear and obsession that Lee and I are constantly working on with him, teaching and instructing him about God’s Sovereignty and His control over the winds and the storms. We pray with him and he has in recent months begun praying himself, beseeching God with the innocence of a child to “destroy” the tornadoes and keep them away forever.

Saturday, we had our first big spring storm. As the kids were playing, suddenly the tornado sirens began screaming their high pitch warning and the TV switched the our local newsman who droned on and on about wind speed and velocity and tornado sightings in the area. And then we heard the dreaded words – “This storm appears to be moving quickly in the direction of West County. Areas who could be affected are Ballwin, Chesterfield, Ellisville, Des Peres, Wildwood…”

Um…we live in Ballwin. And thus began the waterworks. He began the machine gun crying – terrified little sobs bursting out in short staccatos. “D-d-d-aaaaadd-dd-yyy, will you praaaaay?” he cried. And so we did. We all piled on the couch and prayed. We prayed for protection and peace. And then Sloan took over because apparently we were not being firm and direct enough in our prayers.

“God? You are in control and we know that you are all powerful and that you died for our sins and I asked you in my heart and please God, please. Destroy. All. The. Tornadoes. and don’t let anyone get sucked up or killed.”

A tornado did touch down several miles from us, but thankfully no one was hurt and there was minimal damage to landscaping and trees. But since the great storm of 2010, we have had a lot (a LOT) of conversations about storms and God’s control.
As we drove home from church yesterday, Sloan told us that he was going to pray to God 1,000 times a day and ask Him to destroy tornadoes and keep them away forever. “And He’ll do it if we pray 1,000 times. I know He will because He will hear our prayers.”

As we discussed this with Sloan, we reminded Him that God knew His heart and that He didn’t need to pray 1,000 times every day for God to destroy the tornadoes. “God is in perfect control and we need to trust Him completely.” We then suggested that Sloan pray for peace instead.

And it struck me. How often do I pray the same thing over and over – 1,000 times per day in the hopes that God will answer it my way. That He’ll give me the desire of my heart because I begged hard enough? Am I not proving my own lack of trust? Am I not revealing myself to be equally childlike in my faith?

“Sometimes God calms the storm, Sloan,” I said. “But other times he calms the child.” Thank you Scott Krippayne for those immortal words (even if my husband did crack up at my early ‘90’s Christian music reference). Cheesy Christian ballad aside, the words are so true and it’s such an easy message to convey, but when the storm rages around us, how often do we actually sit back and let it rage while tucked away in the firm grasp of our Father? Do we let Him comfort us, or do we rage back and fight against the storm, praying 1,000 times for God to take it away?

Sometimes, God answers our prayer and keeps the storm at bay – as He did yesterday when the tornado bypassed our home. Other times, however, He allows the storm to rage forth and instead shows us the grace of His protection. And in both scenarios, He proves Himself faithful…

“He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?’ Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed and said, ‘What kid of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?’”
Matthew 8:26-27


Cassie said... said...

that was great.

Heather said...

I love this! I love how God uses our kids to teach us such important truths about Him...and about ourselves. Great post!

Anonymous said...

Great word, Kelli! As much as I hate hearing how scared Sloan is, I know God is in the process of making him mighty in his spirit. To hear what he knows about God, and to know that God is the only one to go to, tells me you two are doing a great job of teaching him how to overcome fears. It's so comforting to know that God loves Sloan even more than his own parents do, and His work in his life is based on a PERFECT Love. Hang in there! You're doing great.

Bugs and Sunshine said...

Eewwwwww Gooooood Stuff Kelli!