The Raging Storm — My Thoughts on the Oklahoma Tornado

May 21, 2013 by Melody

It is difficult to wake up and attempt to go about my day knowing the devastation and anguish that so many people just a few hours away from me are facing this morning.

Yesterday, I watched in horror as a massive tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma. The events unfolding live on national television. I watched as parents, neighbors and strangers walked among the rubble of an elementary school that was decimated by the storm. The eeriness — even watching on TV — was chilling to the bone.

I am not a parent so I cannot fathom the utter heartbreak so many parents experienced as the stood, helpless, outside their children’s school. But I feel their pain — if even only a fraction. I think about the little faces of the children I love so dearly. My best friend’s daughter, sweet BrenLeigh and my precious niece, A’Rayiah — both will start kindergarten this fall. They are near the ages of many of the children who sat in those hallways and in those classrooms, trembling as the fury of that storm shredded their school to bits. What went through their minds? Who was there to comfort them? The thought of those children feeling scared and alone puts a knot in my chest I just can’t swallow.

BrenLeigh and A’Rayiah playing dress up.

But I know they were not alone. In the middle of that storm, Jesus was there. If you believe the truth of Scripture, you know it too. While He may not have caused the storm, and while He may not have stopped the storm, He was there with those babies — the most precious to Him — in the midst of the storm.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Psalm 34:19

Sometimes God chooses to calm the storm. And sometimes He chooses to calm his child in the midst of the storm.

How true that statement is. I can see how simple it would be to blame God for what occurred yesterday in Oklahoma. For centuries, He has taken the brunt of the blame for human suffering. I do not have the answer to why he did not stop that storm in its path, or cause it to lift and pass over that school. But I know He was still there.

My heart aches for those left to clean up the mess left by nature’s wrath. It breaks for the mommies and the daddies who have yet to receive word about their missing children. I can’t hold back the tears as I imagine their pain. And I want to help. As so many of us do.

But all I can do is pray. Last night, I found myself praying, but I had no words. It’s rare that I cannot come up with something to say. Prayers for comfort and healing — while still needed — don’t even seem to brush the surface. There are children still buried under the rubble of that school. Families that have been torn apart. Thousands who have lost their homes.

“Jesus,” I prayed. That’s all I could muster. But there is power in the name of Jesus. And I’m so thankful that God hears me when I pray — even when I have no words.

Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.

As the dawn breaks over Oklahoma, it is difficult to imagine how there can be hope in the midst of the horrors. But there is hope. “There will be a place with no more suffering. There will be a day with no more tears. No more pain. No more fears. There will be a day when the burdens of this place will be no more. We’ll see Jesus face to face.” (Jeremy Camp)

Do you know Jesus? Can you call on Him when there are no other words to pray? Is your hope in the One who has the power to calm the storm, or the will to calm his child in the storm?

“On a day when I am afraid, I will trust you, God.”
Psalm 56:3

Whether your storm is a tornado or the daily grind of life, where is your hope?

“I know I need to lift my eyes up. But I’m to weak. Life just won’t let up. I know that you can give me rest. So I cry out with all that I have left. Let me see redemption win. Let me know the struggle ends. That you can mend a heart that’s frail and torn. I want to know a song can rise from the ashes of a broken life and all that’s dead inside can be reborn. Cause I’m worn.”

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