As you may remember from my last post, I spent some time at the Waycross Retreat Center for my final Residents in Ministry Conference (two weeks until ordination!).  Indiana had some pretty bad storms blow through on Wednesday.  They weren’t nearly as bad as the storms that have gone through Missouri and Oklahoma, but that was certainly in the back of our minds.

Four times (I think) between 6pm and 11pm, we had to go to the basement of one of the buildings across the parking lot because there was a tornado warning.  The funny thing is that the general feel of the room was pretty light-hearted.  I’ve been in situations like that which were pretty tense, but there wasn’t a single person there that showed a bit of concern.  At one point, somebody pulled up a table and a few chairs, and a few were playing cards (Euchre… it’s an Indiana thing).  One of the people playing cards was the Bishop.  We all had a good time with that – joking about throwing some money on the table and taking a quick picture.

The next morning, we were reminded about the story of John Wesley on his way back from America.  There was a pretty bad storm at sea, and he was petrified that he was going to die.  However, a group of Moravians were also on board, and they were praising God, praying and singing hymns.  They had such a peace and assurance, even in the midst of possible death.  I think that is what we were experiencing in some sense.  First off, we were in a pretty safe location, but secondly (and more importantly), I think we did have a sense of peace and assurance.  It’s one of the great benefits of faith – there’s no need to worry.  God will take care of you.

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