It was so long ago now when I heard thunder in the late afternoon, my young son and I went outside to see if it was actually going to rain. The weatherman had given us an 80 percent chance of thunderstorms, and it looked as if he was telling the truth for once. I’ve always said weathermen, and weather women, are honest people who can’t be trusted! I put Caleb up on the hood of the car and began to point out to him where the rain line was in the clouds. Suddenly, it looked as though it might hail. We were hit by a blast of wind.
Now I love thunderstorms as much as the next guy – OK, more than the next guy – but the trees were bending low in the wind, and very suddenly the garage was making an eerie moaning sound – saying something like – “I’m not sure how much longer I can hang on!”
So I ran into the house and calmly screamed: “Take cover! The sky is falling!” (I made that up!) I rushed into the house and checked to see that everyone was there in case we did have to take cover under our stairway just inside and below our front door.
It was about that moment that a tornado danced across the intersection of U.S. Highways 65 and 50 and sucked the roof off of a building nearby. Employees of the Ford dealership, there at the time, were scrambling for cover. Do you suppose it seemed like the walls were going to tumble in?
The storm had hit virtually without warning. It would have been terrifying for those who were there. Can you imagine being in such a situation? Maybe you were!
But think of what may be a worse scenario … When life tumbles in – what then?
A devastating divorce that takes away the one who had pledged to spend her life with you.
The doctor’s office calls – “Hi, Mr. Brown. The doctor would like to speak with you. Can you hold, please?” 10 hours pass while you are on hold. “I was concerned about something that showed up on the X-ray. It could be nothing, but we’d like for you to take a few further tests.”
Or maybe it’s that middle of the night phone call you have always dreaded.
Or maybe it’s that thing that always only happens to other people – like those people that moved into the neighborhood to rent that long-empty house – and they were only there for two months. And you heard they had major troubles – and then that thing that only happens to other people or people on the news – it happens to you.
When life tumbles in – what then?
In 1929, A.J. Gossip, a British pastor, preached a sermon entitled “When life tumbles in, what then?” It was his first sermon after his wife’s unexpected death. It’s a good question, isn’t it? And notice, Gossip did not ask “IF life tumbles in, what then?” but “WHEN life tumbles in, what then?”
There are so many issues in life that can be dealt with when they come up, but tragedies are another matter. It’s like the emergency plan for your family. “What do we do, where do we meet?” if the unthinkable happens. And if you read the news, more and more the unthinkable is becoming the more and more thinkable! It’s not IF, it’s WHEN.
As important as it is to preserve your physical life, I am suggesting that it is equally important to prepare yourself emotionally and spiritually to deal with life “when life tumbles in.” And some things have to be prepared and in place before tragedy strikes, like insurance.
Where can you turn? Friends. Family. Those are some good thoughts, but more and more the unthinkable seems to be coming to a town and a place near where you live and where your friends and your family live. Someone wrote in the Psalms in the Bible:
Psalms 94:17 “If the Lord had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence. :18 When I thought, ‘My foot slips,’ your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. :19 When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul (ESV).”
It’s time to call out to the Lord Jesus, before life tumbles in.