It's May in Oklahoma. To anyone that lives in Tornado Alley, you know what this means. It means a mixture of cool and warm temperatures, leaving the area with high probability that sever weather will break out. We even have a national storm center here, in Oklahoma, with one of the top meteorology schools in Norman.
Why do storm chasers flock here? Because the below picture is a common theme for Spring in Oklahoma. This multi-vortex wedge tornado was just forming when I took a quick photo of the news, but it went on to cause some major damage last night.
As Oklahomans, we get asked how can we stand living here? We must be crazy! Well, there is extreme weather everywhere. Name a region that doesn't get tornados, earthquakes, flash flooding, tropical storms, or ice storms. Oklahoma just happens to get all of them.
Last night, the storms were staying south of us, traveling east. (See that little circle up there? That's the general area where I live, in NW OKC.) The next thing I know, the latest tornado, that had touched down, turned north. I quickly pulled up my handy radar app on my iPhone, and saw it was coming right for us. Then the weatherman gave us a timeline, saying it would be in our area with in a 40 minute window.
All I could think of was, 'crap - why don't I have a tornado shelter?'
We do have a safe place we can go for shelter, but it was getting dark outside and when tornados are rain-wrapped after sunset - it's not safe to start driving. Especially when you can't tell if there's a tornado coming right at you. The experts say to stay put and find an interior closet to hide in.
This time, however, we loaded up our gear - and were going to chance the drive to get to my husband's office, which has an old bomb shelter from the 1950's. About this time, my son started texting his friends that we were about to evacuate to go somewhere safe. Within seconds, the group text message was dinging back and forth with the same message to my son... "We are praying for you"
Now I don't know about you - but when I was in sixth grade, I never had friends that were Christians, who openly prayed. I found it heartwarming that my son has friends, who were praying for our family.
About that same time, my kid ran to get his Bible to take with us and had mine in hand too. I told him we should leave mine at home, as a symbol of protection for our home. He agreed and said he wanted to read a verse about protection. He randomly opened the Bible to this line:
"I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place."
This once scared little boy, who admittedly told me how afraid he was of the storms, turned to me and said, "It's going to be okay, mom, because God said so. We'll be okay."
Then my son's and my phone started dinging with texts once more ... his friends were letting him know they were still praying ... and my mom texted me saying the tornado had turned back east and dissipated.
My kid smiled and looked at me with peaceful eyes, saying, "Now thats the power of prayer."
We all have storms in our life - real and figurative. Look to Him through your storms for shelter and safety. He'll be your anchor and your rock.
And today, I'm praising God for His promise to my child through one sentence in my Bible.
Now here's to 4 more days of projected severe weather in OK. Thanks be to God for his powerful protection.