When The Storms Come – Praise!
By Jeanne Gowen Dennis
Author: Running Barefoot on Holy Ground
- One summer afternoon in Denver, my friend Risa and I sat in a park watching our daughters skate. Christine, Jennifer, and Laura relished the freedom of having wheels under their feet and plenty of room to race the wind. As I followed their progress across the park, I noticed an indigo-gray cloud on the northern horizon. I tapped Risa’s shoulder.
“Look at that. It’s still miles away, but it looks ominous.”
“Let’s have the girls skate in the direction of the parking lot, just in case,” she suggested.
Before we had a chance to explain our plan to the children, the cloud doubled in size and progressed toward us at an alarming rate. There wasn’t time to remove skates. We pulled our skating girls along as we raced for the parking lot.
Suddenly, the wind started pushing as we pulled. Leaves, trash, and our hair blew around our faces, making it difficult to see. Just as we reached the opposite side of the park, rain and hail began to pelt us. We partly dragged and partly carried the girls up a steep flight of cement steps leading to the parking lot. Then we scrambled to get the car unlocked and jam our picnic supplies and ourselves inside.
No shelter was available to shield the car from the now golf ball–size hail, so we started for home. I knew it was only a matter of seconds before the windows would shatter in around us.
“I need support,” I yelled to the others.
They assured me that they were all praying. But I knew it wasn’t enough. I recalled my Bible reading from that morning. In preparing to go into battle with a huge army, King Jehoshaphat placed musicians in front of his troops. They praised God with loud, joyous music as they marched, because they knew that God would fight their battle (2 Chron. 20:1–24).
“I need more support,” I shouted again through the deafening cracks and crashes.
“Like what?” my companions responded, understandably wondering how they could possibly help me get us home safely.
“Sing. . . . Sing praises to the Lord.”
The only song we could think of was “Awesome God.” We did our best to drown out the storm’s invective with our voices. Our singing was sugared with laughter at the pun where the song mentions God reigning from heaven. So we sang, laughed, and skidded all the way home. Surprisingly, the windows held firm, but I was concerned about how Steve would feel about the inevitable damage to the rest of our new car.
We found out later that the storm caused about $626 million in damage to homes and vehicles across the Denver area. Many cars caught in the storm were totaled by insurance companies. Others had shattered windows and bore deep pockmarked scars from their battle with the elements. But the car in which we sang praises to God had no damage at all—not one dent.
The Bible indicates that God inhabits the praises of His people (Ps. 22:3, KJV), and Jesus said that He is present where two or more are gathered in His name (Matt. 18:20). God was with us as we praised Him through that storm, and His presence protected both us and the car. That’s the only explanation we have.
God used a summer outing, a record-breaking hailstorm, and a song called “Awesome God” to demonstrate to us just how awesome our God really is.
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Excerpted from Running Barefoot on Holy Ground: Childlike Intimacy with God by Jeanne Gowen Dennis, Kregel Publications, Copyright © 2006.
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As an award-winning author, national speaker, and Wilberforce Forum Centurion, Jeanne Dennis partners with Christian families to help equip the next generation to hold fast to faith. As part of that mission, she has written or co-written eleven books and founded two quarterly online magazines, Barefoot Path and Barefoot for Kids. She has worked with children of all ages for over 25 years, and is a wife, mother, grandmother, and veteran homeschooler.
Learn more at www.jeannedennis.com.
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