Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Sycamore Tree On The Primrose Path

Proverbs 5:5 (MSG)
She's dancing down the primrose path to Death;  she's headed straight for Hell and taking you with her.

It was predicted days in advance.  We were given concise direction on how to remain safe.  Nearly every detail of it had all been explained to us prior to the unfolding of the event.  Now the decision was up to us.  Do we believe what we were being told and act accordingly?  Or do we ignore the advice and remain complacently standing on the back porch watching the destruction unfold?

The events of January 9, 2009 will remain engraved in my mind forever, due to the severity of the storms that came through the area we live in.  It is not at all uncommon for us to have tornado outbreaks.  On this particular night the forecasters had been predicting the weather conditions to set themselves up in such a way that the end result would be high straight line winds and long lasting tornadoes.  Those of you that know me understand that I take these directions seriously.  (Yes, I am certainly a rule follower, but really...can you be too serious about something that has the potential to take your life in the blink of an eye?!)

In an effort to be prepared,  I have a tornado shelter set up in our basement closet with mattresses, blankets, flashlights and a few other emergency items.  So, needless to say, when the sirens sounded this particular night, in predictable fashion,  I rounded up the crew and we dove in the closet.  We listened to the radio intently, as it tracked the storm.  It was on a path heading directly for our neighborhood.  As we sat huddled together, the lights began to flicker and the house started making a strange creaking sound.  Our ears got muffled and tight, similar to when you travel in an airplane.  We could hear a loud roaring whoosh....and got quiet.  That was it.  Phew...we were safe!  Everything was ok....or was it?

                                Nope....WE were ok, but everyTHING was not!

When the sun came up over the hill, the light revealed what was left of our huge Sycamore tree that once proudly stood in our back yard as the tallest tree in it's grove, looming at about 90 feet high.  It's wood was heavy, hard,  and extremely durable.  The dilapidated old fence that stood next to it went unscathed.  Go figure.  The family tree house and swing set were smashed under the crushing weight of the tree as it fell, taking the roof with it and splintering pieces throughout the yard.
After the neighborhood assessed the damage, it was unofficially determined that there had been a tornado coming partially down, never making it all the way to the ground, but extending low enough to rip the tops out of the tree shown and several others in the field and pasture behind us.  In addition, several homes suffered moderate damage.  

When I think of how quickly that tornado came and went and the destruction it left behind, I am drawn back to tonight's verse.  The seductive woman will reek havoc on my life.  She will annihilate my marriage and eradicate my family and home.  The good news is that we are given very clear warning about what will happen if we go down this "primrose path."  Will I listen and take action to prevent injury?  The choice is up to me....and you.

Thank you for your Word that gives us clear and orderly warnings on how to avoid calamity. Literally, You are teaching me that the seductive woman will separate me from life.  That I will be apart from You if I follow her leadings.  I can't imagine anything worse.  Please help each one of us to abide in You and to heed Your warning.
In Jesus Name,

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