August 20, 2009, was a defining day in Canadian weather history. Warnings of potential tornado activity began around 3:30 p.m. in the Greater Toronto Area. Richard and Moira were on their way into the city eager to see "The Sound of Music" with a friend who was visiting from Saskatchewan, when we heard on the radio that funnel clouds were being tracked in the downtown area.
Massive lightning illuminated the grey sky as heavy rainfall and a wall of cloud eclipsed the CN Tower. There was nowhere to go, no turning back, and no place to find refuge on the highway. We had two choices: panic, or pray like David:
"But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, ‘You are my God!'" (Psalm 31:14).
They were late for the performance, but arrived gratefully unscathed. Ironically, we took our seats as the thunderstorm raged on stage. One by one the von Trapp children huddled around Maria, who calmed their fears by singing, "My Favourite Things."
Meanwhile, the drama continued outside. The storm stayed active for about ten hours and covered 500 kilometers across southern Ontario with a record breaking 18 tornados that day. Six hundred homes were damaged - 38 severely.
At times all of us face unwelcome circumstances beyond our control. Like Jesus' first disciples, our faith is tested in the storms of life. In them, will we find a song?
Is God bigger than your drama? A 100 Huntley Street guest reminded us, "Our problems are only as big as our God isn't. We need to look at our problems through the lens of Christ."
"You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you" (Isaiah 26:3).
The biblical forecast is for stormy weather ahead, but here is an unshakeable truth: as children of a sovereign God we are never victims of our circumstances. He is at work in whatever He sends, or allows.
Need a song? Here's one of Moira's favourites:
Fear not, I am with you! O be not dismayed, For I am your God, I will still give you aid; I'll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand, Upheld by my gracious, Omnipotent hand.
"Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance" (2 Thessalonians 3:16 NASB).