So, where was God? Right there in the midst of the storms, wrapping me in His loving arms.
But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator. . .who formed you. . ."Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God. . .your Savior. . .since you are precious in My sight, since you are honored, and I love you" (Isaiah 43:1-4, NASB selected).
When I was at the beach for our annual family "vacation", we have had glorious weather for the most part, but we have also experienced some pretty spectacular thunderstorms. I watched one storm build into a towering monster on the far distant horizon. As it marched across the ocean, I could see the curtain of rain underneath, hear the rumble of the thunder, and occasionally see the flashes of lightning from within the clouds. It hit us full force, and we all were very thankful for a well-built house that could withstand such an onslaught of wind and rain.
In a couple of hours, it passed by, and I decided to take a walk on the beach. One tidal pool caught my attention, and I took a picture of it with my phone. I thought I could hear God whispering, Anne, remember When you go through the storms of life, I am with you. And I love you.
This message became a refrain throughout our beach stay, whispered over and over to my heart like the soft gentle ocean breeze. Because there were storms inside our beach house, also. Within 30 minutes of our arrival, I broke my toe, making it difficult to go on the long walks that I love. My husband developed an infection that required minor surgery and three trips to Urgent Care. Because the nearest dialysis clinic to the beach was being remodeled, my husband was assigned a clinic 40 minutes away, three times a week. And I got slammed with a wicked infection that confined me to bed and kept me inside for much of our stay.
So where was God? Right there in the midst of the storms, wrapping me in His loving arms: my toe turned black, but I was able to walk up to three miles every morning until I became so ill; God led us to the most wonderful doctor at exactly the right Urgent Care facility; the technicians at the dialysis clinic were friendly, and very attentive to my husband's needs; my sons-in-law pitched in to help with the driving so that no one had to drive two 80-minute round trips in one day; and I was able to start quickly on two powerful antibiotics.
The "vacation" that I usually pull together was managed by my precious daughters. They waited on me and their dad, organized the meals, and kept the children occupied and happy. I know, when I look back on this beach week, the first thing that comes to my mind will not be the pain, or the visits to Urgent Care, or the frantic phone calls back and forth to doctors... it will be the message of the tidal pool.