John R. Taylor - 04/20/2009
I wanted to take this time to praise the Lord for keeping us safe through another storm (tornado). Having lived in Pensacola most of our lives, my wife, Rebecca, and I are accustomed to hurricanes. The Lord preserved us through Ivan, Dennis, etc., all in the last few years (and many others).
My wife and our two young children (four-year-old girl and two-year-old boy) have been living in Pensacola for the last six months, ever since we found out that Becky is expecting number three, Anna Lily, while I have lived in Columbus, Georgia for work.
My wife recently decided that she and the children wanted to come back up to live with me (they missed me -- thank you, Lord).
I asked the Lord to guide me to find the right apartment by causing the landlord of the apartment He had for us to agree to my every request. Well, I found the right landlord and knew this was the place for us, even though I tried to find a "better deal" for a day or two. I eventually repented and recognized the answer to my request. The place the Lord provided meets all of our needs and is right across the street from two parks -- perfect for us with our two young children.
Last night we fell asleep around 11:00 pm. Right about midnight I partially awoke to what sounded like a train barreling down the street right in front of our apartment, followed by complete silence (the same time the power went out and the fan in the room went silent, as well). My wife woke up and asked what had happened and I explained what had awakened me.
She mentioned she had always heard that a tornado sounds like a train barreling down on you. I said I didn't think it was a tornado. The Lord has been so faithful to protect us that I don't become fearful of things anymore.
Well, we started hearing voices, followed by sirens of all types and they were getting louder by the second. Becky finally glanced out the window and said that there was debris all over and that it seemed it was a tornado.
Police vehicles started setting up barricades to keep people away from downed power lines. We got up and walked outside to inspect. We were at ground zero, so to speak!
There were trees down all over -- in front of and behind our building. We don't have much in the way of worldly possessions so even if we "lost everything" it wouldn't be a big loss.
There was damage, though. Cars had trees and limbs on them (our vehicle wasn't touched). Houses were torn in two by trees, etc.
The next morning we took a walk through one of the parks that had damage and spoke to a man who lived across the street who had someone's sheet metal carport in his yard. He joked and said he had left a Burger King cup in the back yard and that it hadn't even blown over.
Immediately the thought came to me that even though you may incur a direct hit by a tornado, the Lord is in control of what is damaged and what isn't. And as always, He has shown Himself faithful to preserve me and my family and showed mercy on many because it could have been much worse.