Thursday, February 23, 2012

Finding the good in a bad memory

If you were to outside outside today, you sure wouldn't think it was February.  It feels like the middle of spring here in NC.  The temps are in the 70s, and the sunny outdoors is calling my name.  The girls and I went to the park yesterday and hope to get another quick trip in this afternoon before supper.  My girls love being outside.  Running, sports, swinging, sliding; you name it and they love it if it involves being outdoors. 

I do have to be honest though.  When these 70 degree days do show up in the middle of February, I can't help but get a small chill.  Not from the temperature of course, but from a bad memory.  You see, it was in February of 1989 when a tornado came through my small home town.  We had been having weather just like we are having today.  The tornado destroyed our house, several barns, and knocked down too many trees in our yard to count.  It was probably the scarriest day of my life.  I can recall every detail, even what I was wearing.  I can close my eyes and picture the whole day play out like on a big movie screen.  I recall trying to calm everyone down in the lunch room when they came over the intercom and said we were under a tornado watch.  "It is just a watch guys, not  a warning.  We will be fine."  But it was only a few short minutes later when the warning came.

Now I am not trying to point fingers or be disrespectful concerning my teacher, but she did something that could have been horrific.  All the other classes got under the table in our little lunch room.  Granted, this room was filled with windows, but you always hear to stay where you are and take cover.  She on the other hand, made a split decision to take our class outside and to the main building.  I can picture that black swirling sky and the thunder still rings in my ears.  We made it ok to the building and huddled in the hall way.  The doors at the end of the hallway burst open with a gust of wind and some glass shattered, but thankfully that was the only damage done to the school.

My parents were at home, but with God's protecting hand, they were unharmed as well.  I can picture the damage, all the cars, all the people there as my Nanny slowly drove me into the driveway.  Trees were everywhere.  The front porch was gone.  One huge tree had fallen on our house.  Barns were completely gone as if never even there.  The Lord blessed us that day with safety, but it was still scary.

So warm February days are not completely fun for me, because I can't help but play that day over in my mind.  There are other things that spark bad memories for me.  Frankly, it is quite unavoidable.  There are bad things that have happened to all of us, and there will be little things that remind us of those bad events. 

Is there a way to find any good in these bad memories?

I was able to understand once I was older, that the Lord had taken care of us on the warm February day.  Nobody in my small hometown was injured, just a little shaken by the weather.  We were able to get a new house.  We were living on an old family farm, and the house was over one hundred years old.  There was no heat or air, and although I still loved that house, it was a blessing to build a new one.

But there are other events in my life that I still can't understand.  I can't seem to find any good.  Certain things trigger my memory, and I think about these bad memories...the loss of loved ones and friends and other hurts I have experienced.  I just cannot see any reason for them.  But, God had a reason for them.  And if I can see no other good in them, I can see God and know that He was in control. 

Today's Verse
"Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice."  Philipians 4:4

You might think I am crazy for using this verse when talking about the bad things that have occurred over time.  But, we as Christians are to rejoice always...we rejoice because our Lord is in control.  My KJV Study Bible for Women says of this verse, "For if the Christian believes that his life and all its circumstances are in the hands of a sovereign, wise, and loving God who is always working to accomplish good for him, then he can indeed 'rejoice always'."

Finding the good in a bad memory may seem impossible, but finding God's hand in our circumstances is a comfort and a reason for rejoicing!

1 comment:

  1. The Lord always knows whats best even though we cant always see it in "the storm".