God's Pause in the Center of the Storm    
July 2013

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      "And there he (Elijah) went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" So he said, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life." (1st King 19: 9-10; New King James Bible Version (NKJV).

      "Then He said, "Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD." And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice." (1st King 19: 11-12; (NKJV).

     About six years ago, our neighborhood experienced its first tornado. It turned out to be merely a category 1 or 2 (the verdict is still out). But it was quite frightening to those of us who hadn't experienced a direct hit before. I'd been through lots of blizzards, especially in my youth; but nothing had really prepared me for how swiftly a tornado can make its appearance, almost out of nothingness. One minute, everything seemed normal for central Illinois; the next moment, the wind, rain, blackness and hail began to descend upon our house, all at once. My husband was home with me, at the time; but it was upon us before either one of us could prepare for it, or any sirens went off.

     For several, long moments the wind raged against our home and the houses around our neighborhood. But then, just as swiftly as it had appeared, everything stopped. The blackness still engulfed our vision when we tried to see out the windows, but I realized that we must have been going through the eye of the tornado…for it had become deadly quiet outside. Nothing moved. It was as if the storm took a long pause, or gave relief and a 'time out' to those of us who were hunkering down with fear and the sudden need to just stay alive.

     Yet, those moments of silent relief while the 'eye' was passing through had a really symbolic effect upon me. I suddenly caught my breath and remembered something from my youth that I had learned to do when finding myself in any threatening situation: Instead of panicking, I declared and acknowledged the fact that, no matter what we were going through, God was here, too; and since God was here, too, not even this ferocity of nature was going to harm me, our family, nor our neighbors. I made myself remember that God's invisible, ever-presence could never, in this whole human experience, be taken away from any one of us. And if God is present with us, this makes all the difference in the world. One, with God, is always safe. Our divine Parent and Source of all good never leaves us alone, no matter how much we seem to be alone and without help.

     Then, something else came to my thought: I suddenly realized the similarity between that calm in the eye of these frightening tornados, and the rainbows that often appear after violent thunderstorms. They are each like a physical reminder, which our divine Mother/Father God has written into such destructive weather phenomena, to remind us that the invisible Presence and Power of God is still with us, despite the physical illusion of things. These natural symbols of rainbows and calm moments in the center of the destructive whirl-winds are a divine message to demonstrate that 'God is here, too,' and the Creator can still deliver us from whatever damage the storm may produce.

     When we remember to turn our thoughts to God, and acknowledge the divine Presence with us, this divine Presence (which dwells in our deeper, spiritual consciousness) begins to guide us through whatever situations we encounter in the natural, or physical, world of form. Once this mental connection is made, we feel a calmness and confidence in our safety and protection, despite all physical appearances to the contrary. Thus, when these symbols of God's presence with us appear in our material scene (like rainbows or calmness in the middle of a raging storm) they lead us mentally away from the seeming dangers. They turn our thoughts away from the dangerous appearance of things, and, instead, actually point to the divine, spiritual reality of our situation. They point us to God-with-us. In this spiritual reality, we are still safe in God's harmonious realm, although our destructive, material sense of things shuts out our awareness of the realm of Spirit, God.

     Trying to fight global weather threats alone can lead to panic and dismay, not to mention injury and loss of life. It is well to realize that God does not use the weather to harm, kill, or impoverish any of Its children. The message, ",,,for in Him we live and move and have our being," (Acts 17:28; NKJV) is crucial to remember, as soon as danger is detected. God is our Deliverer from evil…never the cause of it. To this end, becoming mentally calm in whatever 'storm' this material life experience throws at us is our first step toward safety. These physical reminders of God's ever-presence with us (again, like rainbows after storms and the momentary calm in the very midst of tornadoes) are essential in bringing us to a calmness within. They point the way. They turn us to a mental awareness of God in our midst, despite any storm. Our remembrance of God's ever-presence with us leads us to a safe way out, or through, these destructive, material weather patterns, or any other threatening, human situation.

     When our tornado experience was over, our siding was ruined on our house; but no one was harmed, and even the siding was taken care of quickly when we heard from our insurance agent. Many of our neighbors were also grateful of the outcome because the property damage was minimal throughout the neighborhood, and no one was harmed. The power of the tornado to disturb our lives, in any way, was greatly reduced. So much of the fear had been unnecessary.

     Yet, this planet can be a dangerous place; and natural disasters are so unpredictable, that there is often little time to prepare for them. Earth's extreme weather patterns are not new. Even from far back in history, there are stories, passed along in almost every culture, which speak of such disasters such as the great flood. These ancient accounts often tell how certain individuals, with divine, spiritual help, survived when turning within their own consciousness to God for protection. The experience of Noah and his ark illustrates how people who listened for God's spiritual guidance within to bring them through, survived the flood. Those who turned to the infinite, invisible presence of God, always found safety in the end.

     In no way should we dismiss, as insignificant, these impulses to remember God in the midst of all of our material-life situations. Finding our own deeper calmness in the midst of chaotic, human experiences, we become better able to proceed with confidence. Turning our thoughts to God, we can 'hear' the divine thoughts that will lead us to safety. We can 'see' in our deeper consciousness a place beyond the chaotic scene before our eyes. We begin to move toward the positive actions that come from within, rather than accepting our worst nightmares. Like Noah, we will know when and how to build that ark.

     The point I'm making for all of us is that our remembrance of God's invisible, ever-present protection, in the midst of any storm of life, is crucial…especially during the dramatic, and even deadly weather situations around the globe that we are experiencing in these current times. Even so, our divine Parent is capable of turning any event to our good, and minimizing the bad that was produced because of it.

     But even when we haven't turned to God for deliverance, it is never too late to do so. Our divine Source of all good is with us always. So, whatever damage or loss we encountered from such disasters, Divine Love can still move us upward and forward, out of the earthly sense of gloom and destruction we feel. Whenever we turn to that invisible, divine Presence with us, our circumstances change for the better. Whether our need is for emotional support and healing, or financial needs for material restoration, God is still the Source of all good.

     Now, in the Christian bibles, there is a particular Psalm of David that covers almost every disaster we could encounter, and gives us the weapon against such destructions. Here is the best answer to finding one's safety in all earthly, natural disasters and healing when we have been wounded in some way:

Psalm 91: (New King James Bible Version (NKJV)

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust."
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.

He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.

Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

"Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation."

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