You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word. Psalm 119:114 (NRSV)


“Everybody get out, a tornado’s coming,” shouted a man running down the auditorium aisle. The timing was as surreal as it was awful. It was late June, and my daughter’s dance school recital had just wrapped up its finale. Performers were taking bows.
Dozens of children, from tots to teens, and an audience full of their parents and relatives, faced sudden confusion. A security guard took the stage and yelled for everyone to head toward one of the adjacent hallways.


The urgency of the call-to-action left no time for families to reunite. Fearful and tearful, the crowd waited for the vortex to pass. It came within a mile of the school. Although the tornado was not especially strong, a clip later posted to social media showed the ease with which it hurled debris.
In that half hour of waiting for the unknown, it hit me that I might not see my daughter again. It’s easy to be dismissive of people making hasty pleadings with God in their darkest moments until the darkness descends on you. It was a humbling moment for me.


Experience tells us there are no promises of a trouble-free life. Still, Jesus’ words to his disciples remind us that he will always be with us.
God’s Word provides a shield of refuge and comfort at all times, good or bad. Our hope is renewed, and we find the strength to carry on. We encounter what Paul describes as “the peace that surpasses all understanding.”


Prayer: Holy Spirit, be an ever-present reminder that I can take refuge in your Word, wherever life leads. Amen.


P.J. – Inspire. Ignite. Invite.
Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Indianapolis, IN