Monday, June 6, 2011

He Controls the Wind

O Lord my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty, Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment, Who stretch out the heavens like a curtain. He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters, Who makes the clouds His chariot, Who walks on the wings of the wind...
-Psalms 104:1-3

June 1, 2011 will be a day that many will remember in the state of Massachusetts. Not one, but TWO tornado’s touched down in the southwestern part of the state, killing 4 people, injuring around 200 and destroyed hundreds of homes.

My mom, sister and I were in Springfield MA that afternoon doing some shopping. Around 3:00 we heard a weather announcement of a tornado watch in the Springfield area, but we’ve had those before and so we didn’t think very much of it. Around 3:45 pm we got in the car and my mom asked my sister if she wanted to go anywhere else, but she really wanted to go home as she and her little one (my nephew) were pretty tired. We drove across the Connecticut River and down routes 91 and 20 to her house (about 5 miles east of the town of Brimfield MA). My mom left us there and I took my car and went to switch cars with my brother-in-law where he worked just the next town north of them. I got back to her house around 5pm only to find no one around. “We’re down here” my sister yelled from the basement. “Why are you in the basement” I inquired. “Because the weatherman said that there’s a tornado coming this way and to get in the basement!” Oh. Well, I had the presence of mind to grab a few things before going downstairs, but then I kept coming back up to keep checking outside. After about a half hour we decided it was safe to come up and we hadn’t seen a trace of a storm let alone a tornado and thanks to the TV we could see that it had gone north of us. But just as we were starting to relax, we were informed by the weather channel that there was another storm coming and it could turn into a tornado. Well, I wanted to be prepared so I got some bottles of water, food and stuff for the baby all ready to take downstairs if we needed to go down again. Around 6:30pm it was announced that there was a second tornado in the Springfield area. It was looking like it would miss us again but it could always change direction so we were waiting and watching. At 6:45pm my brother-in-law got home, and the weatherman announced that the tornado was headed due east (straight towards us)! I remember even then having just a calmness and assurance that everything was going to be fine. Just as we were going to head downstairs, the power went out completely. We went into the basement and stayed there for a half an hour, occasionally going out to check the sky and listen. We heard and saw nothing, and didn’t even get a drop of rain. We knew that it couldn’t have been too far away, but we had no power to find out anything and the cell phone reception wasn’t very reliable either. Later that evening we got a really bad thunderstorm which made us a little nervous – would there be a third tornado? But, there wasn’t, it was just a bad storm and there was no damage from it. It wasn’t until the next day that we found out just how close, and how destructive the tornado had been. It had missed us by about 5 miles! Just the next town over had been directly hit, houses and businesses completely destroyed and acres of woods flattened! Furthermore, we learned that the first tornado traveled from Springfield MA along the Connecticut River and on or near routes 91 and 20 – where we had been only 45 minutes prior! Needless to say, we are praising God for His provision and are extremely thankful for having been spared from being hit by the storms! 

The first tornado going over the Connecticut River. You can barely see the bridge in the picture - 
we crossed at that spot about 45 minutes before it hit!

Tornado damage:
 Location: Monson, MA
Location: Brimfield, MA (next town over from where I was)
Location: Brimfield MA
I love this last picture. I was drawn to this verse in light of it: "When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more, but the righteous has an everlasting foundation" - Proverbs 10:25.  If these people weren't believers - I sure hope and pray they will see God's protection and turn to Him!

The LORD controls the wind, and I for one am glad; even though I don't understand why He lets things like this happen, I'm glad He's in control... otherwise He is no all-powerful God! Even when bad things happen, He is still good, just and holy. May all this destruction call to mind His greatness and may all the world humble themselves before Him!

“There were present at that season some who told [Jesus] about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish’." (Luke 13:1-5, NKJV)

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