Many of you may have heard, read, or seen the book or movie, "90 Minutes in Heaven." This story is about a preacher who was hit by a truck on a highway, died, went to Heaven, and returned back to earth to tell us of his journey. It is a very powerful story that God used to give us a glimpse of Heaven, to show us that it is real, and to remind us to keep the faith! My story is not about a horrible tragedy; I was never in harm nor was I dying, but my story is just as real.
Do you ever struggle with fear? When you were young, did you jump under the covers during a thunderstorm, cry for your mother when that thunder clapped, or run to the closet at the first blast of wind? For me, one of my greatest fears was a thunderstorm. I always envisioned a tornado destroying the house, taking me up in it, or that the lightning would strike me. (I suppose I had seen Dorothy in her flying house too many times!) During those moments, I would be completely consumed by fear. I would cry uncontrollably and run to the closet for safety, hide under the covers, or run to my mom!
I grew-up in a 4 story home. You had the attic, which was cool to me, filled with trinkets from the past, the upstairs, the downstairs, and the creepy basement...hey, I was little! Since the time I was born, I shared a room downstairs with my brother while my parents had their bedroom next door to us. I was always near someone while I slept. I felt safe and secure. As I got a little older, my parents decided we needed our own rooms and moved us upstairs. I had this nice, big room filled with my toys and stuffed animals. Along with this wonderful room came windows...lots of windows. We lived on a farm, and from where my room was, you could see fields and farm equipment for a mile. The view was amazing, until it was night when it was completely dark or there was a thunderstorm. Most nights, if I was afraid, I would either run downstairs to jump into bed with my mom or I would sneak into my brother's room for safety. One night I awoke to flashes of light. A storm was upon us! Lighting the night sky was constant flickers of light, loud crashes, and whistling winds. I jumped out of my bed, terrified! I remember thinking that I was a big girl now, I shouldn't bother my parents or brother, and that I needed to be brave. But, the problem was, I didn't know how! I ran to the upstairs hallway and silently began to cry. In the hallway was a picture that had been hanging there since I could remember. It is a very famous picture of two children about to cross a bridge as an angel stood near to protect them. I stared and stared at that picture as I silently cried and cried, afraid of the noises and lights that the storm was producing. I walked back into my room that was lined with windows. Everywhere I turned I saw the storm that was terrorizing my thoughts. After standing there crying, feeling like my feet were frozen in fright, I jumped into bed and pulled the covers over my head. I do not remember falling asleep, but I must have, as the next memory I have was being awoken by a different light. This light was beautiful; it glowed. My eyes opened as I looked to my left and saw an angel sitting beside me on my bed. Unable to speak or move the rest of my body, I remember feeling startled, yet calm. In a voice so clear, the angel said, "Do not be afraid, God is with you." As quickly as he had appeared, he had gone. In what seemed like an instant, it was morning. I awoke and immediately knew what had miraculously occurred. I rushed downstairs quickly to tell my mother. Unlike the story of the man afraid to tell others, in fear that he would appear crazy, I knew that my parents would believe me. I had seen an angel. God had sent me my guardian angel! I did not hesitate to share the news.
To this day, I can remember it like it was yesterday. I remember the room, where he sat, his voice, and the exact words. I apply it to my life, and tell the story to my children to let them know that God is real. I was not dying, I was in no real harm, but God cared enough about me, a little child, that he took time to comfort me and let me know that it will be alright...He is with me; He is always with me. I carry this story with me always. He is not just with me during the thunderstorms; He is with me when I feel afraid in any situation of my life, no matter how big or small.
Are you afraid today? Have you let the storms of life consume you with fear? God is with you; there is no need to be afraid.
Isaiah 41:10 "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.