The forecast for Wednesday was hot & stormy, and sure enough when I woke up Wednesday morning, it was dark and cloudy, and looked like we were in for a bumpy ride. By 9am it looked more like 9pm, and the thunder & lightning were on full steam. The wind picked up, the rain poured down in buckets and the more I watched the skies the more concerned I became for a potential tornado. It may come as a surprise to some folks, but we do have those here and according to Environment Canada (the official weather dudes that know these things) southern Ontario has on average, 11 confirmed tornados each year.
We watched the skies Wednesday morning, and by around noon the clouds gave way to blue skies and it turned into a beautiful summer day. Around 7pm however, we did notice some pretty impressive thunderheads to the south of us, just down the highway. I didn't find out until Thursday, that we did in fact have a tornado but it wasn't Wednesday morning, it came down Wednesday evening from those impressive thunderheads. Where it touched down, was about 5 minutes down the highway. (Very minimal damage, classified as an F-Zero which means winds clocked at 100k - or roughly 60mph. This was the 9th confirmed tornado in our part of the province this year - and this was WAY too close to home, thank you very much).
As soon as I heard this news (first from Kev who heard it at work, then from Kim who emailed me to make sure we were okay), my thoughts were basically "wow".
Proverbs 16:9 says:
"A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps."
We all know this verse, and those of us that fully believe in God's sovereign working hand in ALL the affairs of men truly believe this, but sometimes He just makes His orchestration in our lives far more obvious, than others. He did exactly this, on Wednesday.
I had completely overlooked the fact that I had a meeting at church Wednesday night. Due to overlooking it, I had planned and committed to other things for Wednesday night, and so when reminded of the meeting Wednesday morning, I had to decline. Had I not forgotten about the meeting, I would have been in the van, and on the highway about 5 minutes south of my house, Wednesday night. Just at about the very same time the funnel clouds joined together forming a tornado, and touched down. I don't think I would have been in any danger, but who is to say? I dont have a clue what happens if a 60mph tornado sweeps across a highway while a vehicle is on it, and I have no desire to find out, first hand. I do know, that had I been on that highway I would have done what some of the news reports are saying other motorists did - and either pull over (likely in fear of the ominous looking skies) or turn right around and scoot the other way! In all liklihood, I would have ended up missing the meeting at church anyway, but it's impossible to say what frightening things the Lord actually spared me (and others, to be sure) of, Wednesday night.
The thing is, we can't possibly know what kinds of tragic things He spares us from, all day long every day of our lives. Like many Christians, I came to know the Lord well into my adult life, and have considered all the different situations and circumstances I was once in, where logic and reason practically demand that my life be required of me, at that moment. I was at one time, pitifully reckless and rebellious, and was just like so many other people that think "that can't happen to ME". In a sense it's just pure arrogance to think that way, but the vast majority of people think exactly like that. Amazingly enough and only because of God's mercy and longsuffering in the life of this woman, I was spared from tragic endings to either stupid choices or accidents out of my control. I'm quite mindful of this, and for me that verse in Proverbs is a great comfort.
I'm SO glad to know He directs my steps.