A Sleeping God, A Hurricane and A Red Maple {Faith Life Preservers Days 30-31}

Illustration by H. Kent Puckett
from the story “The Wind That Obeyed”
by Ella K. Lindvall

Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, 
so that the waves swept over the boat. 
But Jesus was sleeping.
Matthew 8:24

I sat looking out the window Monday morning directly at the two Red Maple trees that stand firmly in our front yard. The wind had already been kicking up forcefully here in Narragansett, Rhode Island. 

I felt calm and it actually baffled me a bit as I remembered Hurricane Irene’s impending arrival last September. There was such a difference in my whole demeanor that I sought God, questioning if I was somehow in denial about the storm which was coming. I deliberately shied away from the telly, as I wanted to write, focus on tasks and hear God’s voice as opposed to the onslaught of voices that would surely assail me through the media coverage. I confess I also I wanted to immerse myself in Facebook love before it was taken away from me in the days ahead. My daughter and I had visited the Sea Wall and Pier on Sunday evening, the waves and wind were whipping up the sea into a dancing, mad, symphony of wonder. Even in the dark we listened to the hissing, roaring waves while standing at the end of Pier 5 with others witnessing the initial appearances of the monster storm en route to our shores.  
This Monday morning I had already been drenched trying to get pictures with my Blackberry of Sandy’s arrival to our coastline. The storm’s arrival time (I heard) was around 6 AM. High tide would be at 8 AM.
I made it my business to be there before Law Enforcement started to lock down Ocean Road (protocol during big storms). I ended up drenched from two huge waves that splashed against the Sea Wall. Banjo, our dog, and I headed home shortly after I got a few picks. I went home, opted for a hot shower and nesting in tight for the rest of the duration of the storm.
This particular Monday morning I find myself feeling exceedingly sleepy, relaxed and calm. I ask God why Jesus slept through the storm, because for some reason the question is pressing me from within like a cat in a bag that wants release.  I can’t seem to stop the wondering…so I turn to the Book that is Living.
 I am reading each of the passages in Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41 and Luke 8:22-25.
And as I go through the day I find myself unperturbed by all of the threats to my peace.
They come in many forms and voices. I am not defensive.
The peace feels like a shield.
A force-field around my heart.
Jesus is sleeping in my belly, I am sure of it.
He is snoozing away and I am napping by His side with one eye open in utter awe.
Cause I know that I know that He is with me.
I ask, “Is this the abiding, Lord?”

I sit in the window, lounging watching the wind, knowing that He is in control. 
I have prayed for peace and safety and He has delivered both.
I think about my magnified fear last year in contrast to this powerful peace this year.
Hurricane Irene threatened and I fretted, darted and bowed to the minute by minute reports.
Stark difference…
I watch a tree refuse to bow to a powerful force and receive a magnificent lesson.
I am spiritually rooted. 
The wind may blow, The limbs may break.
But through it all, my core- my inner being is not shaken.
Finally…roots that grow deep enough.
Strong enough.
I remain in Him, through Him.
Let the wind be relentless.
Let the world shake it’s fist at me.
I may suffer loss.
Yet remain, 
I will.

A tree went down in our front yard. The tall Pine crashed down onto our beautiful, strong Red Maple.
Thank God it did not go into the house. That is the corner my girl sleeps in her new Loft bed.
However the hurricane brought us together into the King Sized for a family bed for a movie (Karate Kid), laughter, Uno and earlier than usual sleep.

Jesus slept through the storm and I keep seeing the Red Maple though suffering a few broken limbs, strong, beautiful, rooted. That wind whipped through and the tree was not moved. When the wind could not move the Red Maple, it blew down a weaker tree and as it fell, it caused some damage.
But you know friends, that beautiful Red Maple is still standing firm…

This is the Maple that took the hit…picture is from
 a previous year.

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. 
No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.
 Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
 “I am the vine; you are the branches.
 If you remain in me and I in you, 
you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 
John 15:4-5

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…
Galatians 5:22

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
 Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27

Could I have asked God for a better wrap up to 
this 31 Day journey?

31 Days of Faith Life Preservers 
October 1-31, 2012
See all other Faith Life Preserver Posts HERE.

Check out all of the other 
31 Day Topics and Bloggers HERE!
*The top image for the post comes from one of my daughter’s favorite childhood storybooks: 
Read~Aloud Bible Stories Vol. 1 by Ella K. Lindvall published by Moody Press.

Published by enthusiasticallydawn

Dawn Paoletta is the author of Journaling for Discovery and Delight. Her writing is included in several anthologies and her poems have been included in the Wickford Poetry and Art Exhibit and Books. Dawn is currently working on her next book. Inquiries at dawn.paoletta@gmail.com

11 thoughts on “A Sleeping God, A Hurricane and A Red Maple {Faith Life Preservers Days 30-31}

  1. Glad you're rooted, Dawn. Glad God held you there through the storm. Glad you got to see the sea roll for a few moments before you settled inside–there's something magnificent about the sea in a frenzy, even when it's on the verge of turning toward deadly. God is in control. I continue to pray for you and all those still within the 'war-zone' of this sea-and-storm surge!


  2. There is little better than snuggling in during a storm, indeed! I'm glad you were able to pull it off, pragmatically and spiritually


  3. Dawn- So glad that you are safe and love how God revealed himself to you through this storm and the 31 Day adventure of writing and learning from him. I look forward to what new revelations he has for us through your writing!


  4. I'd say you wrapped it up very nicely! I appreciate you sharing your adventure with us. Blessed to hear your thoughts, too. So glad that God is in control, and nothing takes Him by surprise. 🙂


  5. YOUR BEST POST YET! In my opinion! Interesting that remaining calm in the abiding can appear to be denial. That would be an fascinating thing to study. How do we know which is which? And refusing to watch the news could be seen as denial but also as GREAT WISDOM and soul protection! Hmm. Good stuff here my friend!So glad that all is well and will continue to pray for the clean up season.


  6. As I read this I marveled at how calm you were. Taking pictures,even. I am reminded of Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you.”


  7. You never cease to amaze us. God truly inhabits the praises of His people. We praise the Lord for His watchcare and protection over you and your home and family. Trees blow down, but new growth appears…perhaps that is what God is doing…bringing about new growth…in more than just the trees. This was powerful. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of it.


  8. Sorry about your tree, Dawn – but so glad you are well and safe – and your maple well rooted. Yes – I was almost giddy with peace through it all – and we were ground zero – inland of course – and barely touched it seemed. Never lost power. But oh! Such devastation just 30 minutes from us! Constant in my thoughts. A changed landscape – landmarks and history washed out to sea. Something stirring in me as I ponder these things – will write eventually, but I don't know what yet. Thinking I might look for a journal for your link-up . . . but for now . . . bed.Joy!Kathy


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