How to Trust God when Disaster Strikes
by Rita Davidson
With the recent Hurricane Sandy watching the news from here can make it seem sort of surreal. Living away from both east and west coasts, we are lucky to be insulated from the worst of this weather. Mind you there was a tornado that took down a barn just 7 minutes from us a few years back.
But when you are living it, it is much more frightening. Having hope is hard. Keeping perspective is even harder.
About 12 years ago we had an ice storm. I know your thinking, of course, your in Canada! But believe it or not, we have 100F summers as well as -20F winters. We get it all. This one winter though it got too warm and the rain started falling. And falling. It looked so pretty when we woke up 3 days later with the rain gone, glittery everywhere. But the devastation was amazing. Trees broken, power lines down and roads impassible. We could hear the heaving of the trees breaking. It was well frightening.
We had a few children by then, and young ones too. It was frightening to have no electricity, no power, no water, and couldn’t get out our own laneway because of ice. Our power was out for 11 days. The army came around to check on everyone and gave everyone firewood. We melted snow outside for water and to cook. We used our woodstove to make toast and to heat water. Meals were simple. It worked out pretty good.
To say that having a woodstove was easier, might sound to simple. Prayer was really one of the most useful things we had. It sure brings about a different outlook to our busy lives when we just are forced to slow down. With no power it gets dark earlier, so we go to bed earlier. We start talking to each other and playing games instead of being plugged into our Facebook accounts. Sometimes we need that time to ‘step back’ and reflect a bit. I was saddened when I heard a fellow Catholic complain that they are frustrated that the power was off. It’s true it is frustrating, but it is in that frustration we learn it’s time to sit back and reflect a bit on our family and all we do everyday. After 11 days without power, I was sad to see the power go back on. Not because I wanted to live like a wierd-y with no power, but it was the slower pace. The responsibilities that were shortened because they couldn’t be done. It was the silence that I had come used too. And once I got past the frustration it was in that silence I found God.
Our family has survived through various scary events. The ice storm. Another year a snowstorm, that piled snow 7 feet around our house covering up to our windows. Sometimes it was other times like family members going missing. Deaths in the family. Loved ones gone lost. Bills that couldn’t get paid. All things that cause the heart to stop. Much like the time when Our Lord went missing for 3 days. How Our Lady must have worried. How much St. Joseph must have fretted. It is the unknown that causes us such pain.
When the power is out, we want to know when it will go back on?
When someone goes missing, we want to know how long the torture will be until they return?
When we are in the middle of a storm we want to know when it will end?
Will I be hurt? Will we have loss of life? Will our home be destroyed? Will we survive?
We want to KNOW! We want control!
Sometimes we loose so much perspective we start asking, Is this the End of the world? Is this the Chastisement God is sending? We don’t realize that this weather, or disaster is not international but regional. In loosing our perspective we invite in Satan, who is the father of fear.
With fear we loose our hope and cause ourselves alot of pain thinking up all kinds of terrible outcomes. I know, I’ve been there, done it too.
Recently, Mark had to have an emergency dental appointment. After a bout of medications to get it under control we went in for the actual appointment. The problem is we didn’t have dental insurance. And we didn’t have the money for this appointment that was going to cost $1000. Mark and I went over it wondering if we should cancel? Wait for the new year? After seeing his pain, I said no we have to do this now.
So that morning we left, and I just prayed to God that He would find the money. I left it all in His hands. When I think and think and still can’t find an answer for a need, I know this means it’s up to God to fix. I posted for prayers on my Facebook page as I knew the more prayers the better. Then, I put it in Gods hands and we left.
Well, Mark returned from the appointment much quicker than expected. The story he told made me laugh. Because of a mistake he ended up frozen with an open tooth and waiting for the procedure. Then suddenly it got drastically cut off! They sealed him back up with a new filling instead and so we had no bill to pay!
As we sat there trying to gather our thoughts, the sun was shining and the temperatures were just balmy. Rare for October. But when God makes things happen He goes all out. I could just feel His grace basking us at that moment. I could not stop smiling as I looked on my Facebook wall to see Marshall, had posted my favorite prayer to St. Joseph there. I was just awed.
I posted on my Facebook wall,
“Could we attribute this to St Joseph? When you are open to His will He Will provide! Make no mistake He will. God bless you all for sharing such a beautiful and miraculous day with me! ;)”
It is only when we are truly in need that we turn to God. It is only when we are truly out of answers that we beg God to help us. It is only when we are in the begging position that God can really do His wonders. And His wonders He will do !
We must Trust in God when things are difficult. We must ask God for faith and trust. When we search ourselves and cannot find an answer then we know we must turn to God and leave it to Him. And when we leave it in God’s hands, we must Stop Worrying about it!
That is the key to trusting in God is to stop worrying. He will make it all right, in His own way. That is the part some people don’t like. They can’t make it happen their way. They don’t like to have it out of their control. They have it all planned how they want it to work. Problem is God doesn’t work on your time, He works on His own. And once you learn to be open to His will, you will realize how much better is His will in your life.
Like that tornado that took down that barn, when one door closes another opens. That farm is now a thriving golf course. With the barn down they had alot of grassland. Who would have known that they would turn a retired farm into a golf course? That is how we need to see the crosses that God sends us. We never know what on the other side of the door. We must have trust that God has a plan in place to make it all work out for His will. And that is the best we can hope for.
Have you been open to God in your life when disaster strikes ?
©Copyright 2012 Rita Davidson All Rights Reserved.
Rita is a Catholic wife and mother of seven children. She reverted back to the faith when her oldest was making her First Communion. By then, she had completed degrees in Hairdressing and Make up artistry. She went on to receive a degree in Natural Health and another degree in Art. At age 26, Rita suffered a minor stroke. With no lasting effects, this dramatically changed her outlook on life. In 1996, Rita began ‘Little Flowers Family Apostolates’ to reach out to other families with her new found faith, by creating unique Catholic books and resources.. In 1999, she wrote the bestselling, ‘Immodesty; Satan’s Virtue’. She was editor of ‘The Catholic Health Letter’ for 7 years. She has been a homeschooling mom for 20+ years, and has written for various magazines. She is honored that families have trusted her with their questions, needs and concerns over the years. She continues to write and reach out to Catholic families with her husband, Mark and their 4 boys through http://www.LittleFlowersFamilyPress.com