“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.” (1 Kings 19:11-12; New King James Bible Version (NKJV).
“For in him we live, and move, and have our being;” (Acts 17:28; King James Version (KJV).
In the last week, the United States has been ravaged by storms. The devastation from tornados and blinding rain was widespread, particularly in the South. Many lives were lost and so many homes have been destroyed by wind or flood waters. In the midst of such carnage, we often stand, stunned and speechless, as we witness the destruction that has just affected so many people in our country.
During the last few years, these natural disasters seem to have multiplied, around the globe. And although people from outside the disaster areas try to help and supply the needs of so many, such aid is less than adequate to meet the needs of everyone afflicted. So, reliance upon other people to fill so many needs has become less reliant; and those without resources such as power, food, water, and shelter, often find themselves on their own.
That is why it is a good thing to remember that there is always another option…another Source to turn to when human help is inadequate to fill our needs, both before and after nature’s destructive activity. That ever-presence Source is God…the infinite Spirit that is the Creator of all that actually exists. The invisible presence of God is the deliverer from all evil, or the results of whatever threatens us. And we are never really far from this spiritual Presence and Power; for as the Bible says, “For in Him we live and move and have our being,” (Acts 17:28 to comma; (NKJV).
When we are facing any destructive situation, it is wise to remember this divine Option; for it is only our belief in the material sense of things as the only reality that blinds us to the infinite Presence of Spirit, and our eternal safety in divine Love’s creation. In other words, it is our belief in physical, rather than spiritual being, that makes us cling to the material evidence before our eyes, rather than remember our inner knowledge of God’s spiritual creation, which is always with us.
It is our false sense of materiality as our reality that makes us feel we are victims of any material situation. God’s children are never victims in the invisible kingdom of God, always at hand to be perceived. And whatever binds us to the seeming rule of materiality is the falsity that brings fear and mental suffering during physical disasters…not the temporary conditions of the disaster itself, for this can be turned around and fixed through our trust in the ever-presence and divine Control of the Almighty, despite all appearances to the contrary.
The invisible Presence of God is the Source of all good; and this Source has never stopped supplying all good (whatever and whenever needed) to Its children (those who comprehend the spiritual, rather than material reality of their own being). Yet, even as spectators, we are often pulled into the illusion of devastation that seems impossible to remedy. We often watch such events on TV, giving the horror a reality of power it really does not have; and we aren’t even in the disaster experience itself.
Well, last night, for the second time in our lives, my husband and I were a part of the tornado experience; and, coincidentally, both times it happened on the same highway in Mississippi. It was like repeating a scene out of our past. Both events occurred suddenly, in the dark of night, but the first time occurred a year or two earlier.
So, last night we were traveling the same route home to Illinois after a short vacation in Florida, only to find that we were in the path of several tornados that were raging across Mississippi and Alabama. We naively thought that, this time, we might be able to outrun the predictions of dangerous weather that were sweeping across the South. We were wrong.
First the rain started, like the other rainstorm. Then it began to escalate and pound upon the car, gushing water so fast we couldn’t see the road. Having experienced that first brush with a tornado, we just inched ahead, trying to see the road. Soon, there was a gas station and McDonald’s restaurant that we could see because they were lit up brightly. So, we crept our way to their location. Both were closed, but there were people in McDonald’s, and they quickly opened their locked doors to let us in.
Several other people were taking refuge inside, also, and soon the tornado sirens began screeching for at least a half hour. When they stopped for a few minutes, my husband and I tried to decide what to do…should we stay or try to press on, hopefully finding a motel for the night? The restaurant was going to close up as soon as the storm abated, so we needed to do something.
Suddenly I realized how mesmerized I’d been by the whole drama. Where was my faith in God’s presence and protection? We had made it through the first tornado once, surely we would do it again. I knew I had to clear my mind of all fear, and remember that the invisible presence of God is always with us, despite all appearances to the contrary. I would be still and try to hear that ‘still, small voice’ within, to tell us what to do.
Within seconds, it came to my thought that although we didn’t know what to do, or what course to take, God did know. I felt a sense of peace come over me, and suddenly another thought came: my husband’s Ipad was out in the car. We could retrieve it and find the weather picture we needed to see, concerning our current location. Maybe that would help us know what to do. So, as any good wife would do, I sent my husband out into the rain, to retrieve the Ipad from the car. J
The Ipad picture showed that the center of the storm had split into two, large cells leaving a narrow section of green, which signified only rain ahead on the highway we were traveling. If we left right away, we could probably make it through that green path, until the center of the storm (yellow, red, and pink areas shown on screen) united again, as it appeared to be trying to do.
We both studied the images on the Ipad for just a couple moments and decided to risk it. As the sirens still screeched through the night again, we thanked the McDonald people for letting us inside. Then we left amidst the wind and rain, knowing that our way out had been revealed. We drove through the green path, as shown on the screen, and we kept moving north until the rain soon ceased altogether.
It worked like a charm, but not because we were so clever. It worked because the infinite Creator perceives everything in Its own creation and therefore, always knows our escape routes. We were shown to go to the Ipad for the safe pathway home. We couldn’t have known of that particular pathway out of that particular storm, but God can see around corners. Our sight is limited. The divine Sight is unlimited.
Fortunately, listening for that divine voice from within us always delivers us from our human ignorance and limited perception. When we pray for the divine guidance we need, and then TRUST it when a way comes to our thoughts, we then take the right actions we need to take to be delivered from our human troubles.
When we are hypnotized by the material world around us, we are deaf, dumb and blind to the ever-present, quiet voice of God, giving us the delivering answer we need in order to adjust our actions. When we ignore God’s ever-presence, we blind ourselves and cover our ears to the mental communications from the divine Mind that is with us all. This inner, spiritual consciousness is often termed, the Christ Consciousness, and it is universal. When we turn to this innate Christ Consciousness within, we connect to God; and no one is without this divine, innate consciousness within, nor without the ability to communicate with it.
So, while the earth around us may roll and rumble, burn or flood, we are still, really, in the invisible kingdom of God of which there is no end. In this ever-present, spiritual kingdom of God, we’re always able to find our path of safety and goodness. For, God’s own children do not exist in a finite, material creation. We really exist in the spiritual kingdom of God, not of this world, yet here, where the outer world of material form seems to exist as our reality, but is not our true reality. That’s as good as it gets. But, next time we take a vacation in Florida, I’m going to pray before we drive through Mississippi.