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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Whistle In The Storm

Well gang, we seemed to have made it through the second round of Oklahoma storms since we got into town, but some of our friends and neighboring towns have not. Thank you for continuing to pray for Oklahoma.

I am posting this story written  during a perfect storm of another kind.
 A spiritual, physical, and actual storm.


I remember a few years ago on a very cold and stormy night thinking how tough life seemed because of finances (9/11 related job loss), the loss of a pre-born child, a health issue, a move, missing our support system of church and school, and having two kids far away facing some struggles alone.

After having plenty-plenty of money, good health, a strong support network--for the first 20 years of our marriage, I guess I took comfort for granted.

A pity storm was brewing in me on that rainy night.

Let's see:

We couldn't buy the kids school pictures because it wasn't in the budget.

We needed a different vehicle because my old suburban was on it's last leg (or should I say tire).

We had two kids in college and tuition was due and two kids at home who also had expenses.

I was given a harsh medical diagnosis just as our insurance changed and medical bills began to mount...and blah blah blah etc.,etc., you get the pity party picture!

Back to the stormy night. Actually no longer night but about four o'clock in the morning while it was still storming and cold outside, I heard the little puttering of the motor on Richard's car as he pulled into the driveway.
It was the second long night he had to cover an extra shift at his job 45 miles away.

I often had mixed emotions of relief and sadness hearing that car coming down the street.

You see before so many aircraft workers were laid off,  Richard drove a beautiful new truck.

We were never wealthy --just comfortable.

We had to replace the truck with a tiny little gas saver after 9/11. Richard could barely get in that car without bumping his head on the door frame or  a knee on the dashboard!

So given the pitiful mood I had been nursing, hearing that little car was yet  another reminder of our current circumstance.

The sound of that motor  put one more knot in my already knotted stomach.

I usually listened for the car door to close and waited a second or two to hear if he made it inside okay. Sometimes I would venture downstairs to say goodnight and good morning  and fix a plate for my hungry husband.

This time, I was relieved he was home safe from the weather but I was too pitiful to even go say hello.

The motor shut off...then, I heard it!

As his car door opened on that cold miserable night, I heard...a whistle.
Richard was whistling! He whistled until he got into the house. Once he was in the house, and I knew he was safe, I lay awake wondering...what makes one wince and one whistle?
Same household, same circumstances, same profession of faith, yet...totally different attitudes!

Sometime later but still in the wee hours of the cold rainy morning (I am not sure how long) Richard crawled into bed--most likely exhausted from the long double shift--and put his hand on my back. He quietly began to pray, "Father, I thank you! Thank you for getting me home safely in the storm. Thank you for this warm home. Thank you for the meal that was left warming for me as I got home. Thank you for letting me come home to this woman that you have given to be my wife!"

Well this sweet man was in the same circumstance I was in. His whistle, his gratitude and his attitude, reminded me (along with a simple heartfelt prayer) that we have been certainly, overwhelmingly and abundantly blessed! Not by material excess, but blessed with the truth that we have a loving God who provides storms to strengthen out roots.

Why did I fear? Why did I worry? Why was I throwing a pity party?

For the years we have walked together with the Lord, Richard has been a quiet reminder of what Faith really means.
The evidence of things not seen...but our Hope is in God.

You know, Richard knew the same facts about our finances, my illness, the children's struggles that I did. He was in the yucky weather I had experienced with the same water dripping into the basement. He knew the tuition due was more than we had ability to fund. He knew our new deductible was triple what it had been. Yet, Richard chose Faith, Hope and Love. Richard was grateful.

I can't imagine how much God must love me to have allowed this man to be my husband and to teach me; To Whistle In The Storm.

'Although he didn’t have much, he had learned to be thankful for everything that God had given him. Paul declared, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Philippians 4:12, NIV)'~B.Graham

Thank You, Father, for my life, for Richard and our children. Thank you that truly through many dangers, toils, and snares we have already come...and yet Faith will lead us home...just like my positive husband on that cold stormy late night ride home...may I begin to whistle over my blessings when the world around me thinks I should be complaining in the storms of life.

I love you LORD! I praise you! I Thank you,

In Jesus Name, Amen.

~K. Lonsinger
(Material for A Gentle Answer Ministries ©)


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