The Lord is my light and my salvation – so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? ~ Psalm 27:1 (NLT)
Growing up in Fresno, California, we didn’t get too many extreme winter events that often. However, there was one event that was fairly crazy, and very frightening. It happened when I was in first grade.
The sky that day was dark. Dense clouds spread as far as the eye could see. It looked eerie. But, what was hiding in the clouds was the issue. Our teachers knew long before we did what it was. Finally, they shared with us that a tornado watch had been issued for our area, in fact, a funnel cloud had been spotted near the school. So, we did what most grade schools used to do, we practiced out “duck and cover.”
Duck and cover is a lost art in today’s schools (Unless you happen to live in earthquake country). Essentially, it goes something like this: When you hear the siren or instruction from a teacher, get under your desk, kneel down with your forehead to the ground, and place your hands over the back of your neck. The idea is that the desk would protect you from falling debris, and the hands over your neck would prevent a severed artery should the windows shatter and glass fly about the room.
A little while after our practice run, the real thing came. We were told to duck and cover. A tornado was heading our way. By God’s grace, the tornado missed the school, but it tore into some buildings at the airport a mile or two down the road.
In life, (even though we are Christians) we will have episodes that create fear, or at the last uneasiness. We are certainly facing that now with COVID-19 running amok in the world. Yet, it’s in those moments that our Savior shows His power. He is our mighty fortress. His strength is greater than any other. As the psalmist says here, “Why should I tremble?” In those moments, we need to duck (kneel) and cover (pray).
When we accept Jesus Christ to rule in our lives, He becomes our great protector. Yes, bad things still happen – we live in a broken and sinful world. However, nothing in the universe can touch our eternal lives. God holds those firmly in His grasp, and will never let go. He is our eternal fortress. He is our mighty warrior. Rest in His protection. Find peace in Him.
One thought on “Duck & Cover”
I had an experience of God’s power just a couple days ago when I told my mom that I was going out for a walk, but it actually didn’t end until 10:00 PM. It was probably the first time I have gotten lost in my hills around our house. Plus the weather up on the ridge on our side of the valley was submerged in high winds and below freezing temperature. There were times during my seemingly vain effort to find my valley again, when God kept telling me one thing. “You will survive.” Somehow this motivated me to keep lifting my aching legs out of the knee deep snow and take one step after another. During the whole “walk”, I was howling periodically just in case someone could hear me and know my location. At first, when I wasn’t in my Big Valley, I howled only to so mom wouldn’t worry if she stepped outside, which did actually happen once. Now, I was howling for help and God asked me, “Do you want a welcoming party when you get home?” I thought it was a strange idea at first but I said, “yes, I don’t feel like going much longer than I have to, even though I know I could push the required energy out of me at this point.”
I finally found my valley by following the reflection of its lights in the cloudy sky. Once I knew that I was at the opening to the valley, I yelled with all my might, “I AM HOME!” in a voice that collided with the valley walls and sounded like the clanging of a gong with the fullness of Thunder. As I was partly down the mountain, God suddenly commanded me, “Stop here under this tree and sleep the night here. I didn’t really want to, being so close to home I could imagine touching it, but I complied and tried to keep moving my toes around, which by this time felt like blocks of ice on the extremities of my legs. Then I saw the lights of our neighbors trying to find me. I howled them over to where I was. When they arrived they exclaimed, “If you had gone just a few more yards, you could have fallen over a big cliff and hurt yourself worse than you already are!” I already was unprepared for a long hike. I didn’t take any flashlight nor boots for traveling across snow. I was wearing only a tough coat and running shoes for protection from the weather. My jeans now were wet but not frozen to my legs and my hands weren’t as cold as they could have gotten.
My neighbors later reported that I had already been in the beginning stages of hypothermia and frostbite
I am now successfully healing from my excursion after scaring my folks into calling 911 and having a cruiser take me home on the short distance from a neighbors house. Praise the Lord of all the earth, He carried me home!
(howls like a monkey)