Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Where to Stand in a Storm

When Michael and I had our deck built, we picked up a pergola to sit on top of it. If you don’t know what a pergola is, basically it is four pillars that hold up a row of beams, which act as a type of roof. It doesn’t keep out the rain or the sun, but it’s a great system for growing vines that will eventually hang over our heads. I love it.

It’s was standing all summer without a problem, so I figured that all was good—until one day that is. When I walked into the kitchen, I heard an unrecognizable sound booming from the back yard.

“The pergola!” I screamed to Michael--who I’m so thankful was sitting in the living room, rather than putting in a day at work. “The pergola!”

It was all I could think to say as I saw this enormous structure make it's way down to rest on our patio table.

Within seconds, Michael, our neighbor, and I were hoisting the pillars all back in place. It was windy, but we had seen far worse winds over the summer. I have no idea why the pergola decided to come down on this particular day, and then threaten to come down over and over again as I witnessed it sway in the wind.

Immediately Michael shot out the door en route to the lumberyard. He had put off fastening it to the deck since he didn’t have the required screws, but now we had no choice--it had to be fastened. My daughter Madison and I were left to hold the pillars, just to ensure it didn’t come down again.

It had been a very long time since I felt my heart beating as fast as it was that day. Every time a gust of wind shook the structure I feared it would come down once again. My legs were shaking as were my arms, but I stood there holding the pillar as best that I could. Then I did what I always do in situations like this—I called my dad. One of the kids brought the cordless phone to the pillar, and with shaky hands I dialed his number.*

It’s nice that my parents live close by, especially when toilets are overflowing, ovens catch on fire, or pergolas are swaying in the wind. Dad was there within ten minutes, sitting on a chair propped up against a pillar while I leaned on a table propped up against another. Dad is always calm in a storm. Always. There’s just something about that man that doesn’t sway him when tragedy hits, even in those moments when it hits real hard. I can always rely on him to calm my nerves and to guide Michael and I through difficult times. It’s a gift I suppose, that not only reminds me that I’m safe because he’s there, but also the fact that most of all that I’m safe in this world because I have a heavenly Father who I can find refuge in through every storm of my life.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. ~ Psalm 46:1-3

In time, those vines will grow, adding shade to our yard, and protection from the sun. I look forward to those days--abiding in the vine, as I fellowship in the cool of the day, with my Lord.

*This article was written about two years ago--before my dad got sick. It's interesting to look back at this article I wrote then and see how Dad prepared me to face each storm. Even this one--his struggle with cancer.

Read more articles about my dad here.

You are loved by an almighty God,


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