I’ve always loved tornadoes. I grew up in tornado alley, and my daddy and I would watch those frightening, dark clouds turn over into that eerie, green warning as the winds far above began to swirl, sway, and dance in every direction all at once it seemed. It often seemed to happen so slowly, but sometimes those winds would all start to dance to the same beat of music and would organize into this beautiful funnel. It would creep down from the heavens a little at a time, and I’d be wide-eyed with a racing heart watching every move hoping it would touch the ground while praying in the same breath no harm would be done.
Tornadoes, in my eyes, are beautiful! From formation to touch down to the crazy, unpredictable dance across the landscape to instant disappearance to the unity that follows the destruction caused by that beautiful but powerful beast!
Yet in all their beauty, they are scary and greatly respected. I’m fully away of their evil side, their terror, and their potential to snatch away life in a moment. It’s easy to understand why someone else can’t see their brilliant, gorgeous presence. Why someone else might hate them is totally comprehendible.
As I lay here wide awake on a December night, there’s absolutely no reason why I should be thinking about tornadoes. I’ve viewed no pictures or videos. I’ve heard no warning sirens. It’s the wrong time of year. So why in the world is my mind full of images and mental videos of some of the greatest and most horrific tornadoes I can recall?
I call it “A God Thing”. Yes, God has been talking to me. It’s how we communicate some times. Maybe it works out totally different for you, which I think is perfectly fine by the way.
God allowed those millions of tornado images to flood my mind to remind me how beautiful and breathtaking I view them, and how curious and fascinated I’ve always been of them. He also made me remember their destructive, painful, and evil side. Those pictures made my stomach ache and my heart hurt. Finally, God reminded me of the millions of people who’ve crawled out of the rubble, from neighboring communities, and from all around the world to join together as one strong unit of mighty warriors who rebuild the razed community one day at a time.
I smiled as I acknowledged His parable. I said, “My cancer is a tornado, huh? It started out as nothing out of the ordinary until those cells started to swirl, break, divide, and move in this chaotic way. The primary path of destruction was a F-2; later assessed and upgraded to a F-3 level storm! The evil, painful, and destructive monster has made landfall, retreated back into the sky, and will return over the course of five or more months to create more havoc.” I think this is where I asked God that question that proves my faith isn’t quite up to par yet. “God, I don’t really spend a lot of my time looking at the rubble, the destruction, or the evil chaos part of tornadoes. Why can’t my cancer just be like that beautiful, breathtaking tornado dancing across a vacant field doing absolutely no harm to anyone or anything?”
God’s reply was like thunder, “Beauty is here! Look closer. What do you see?”
I sighed. I knew exactly what picture He wanted me to recall. My husband, my children, my family, my friends, my school family, my new church family, my old acquaintances, and strangers have all joined arms with me to fight along side me every day rebuilding me a little more each day.
“Thank you, God! That’s awesome!”
He grew eerily silent and waited until I selfishly asked, “What about the beauty in the actual storm, God? Those amazing shots of power, respect, beauty, and awe is really how I’d rather this cancer be photographed.”
The power of God’s words will raise the hairs on your skin. “This storm is gorgeous, but just wait until you see what it’s going to look like once the sun starts to sink slowly behind in the background or when my powerful finger flashes lightning across the scene. My child, glory is coming! You will not suffer in vain. Evil is real, but I will prevail! I promise you the storm is severe, but the reward will come and it will be glorious!”
These are the verses laid on my heart today. Obviously, God is still talking, and I’m trying hard to always listen.
Isaiah 48:10 – “See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this”
I Peter 5:10
“After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”
1 Peter 1:6-7
“You greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”