Last Saturday was an odd day. The weather was, for the most part, okay and we made plans to attend the symphony at Conner Prairie – not more that 10 minutes from our front door. The prior week was a disaster as far as weather was concerned – rain setting a record for the month of June in Indiana. The only good thing that came of it is that the level of the lake behind us, which was painfully low, started to return to more normal levels and that is a welcome relief.
However, late in the afternoon, just before we headed off to church, it once again started raining. Not a heavy rain, mind you, but enough to call into question whether the trip to Conner Prairie was going to happen or not. We were scheduled to see a show on the music of Journey, and on the summer week-ends, Janet and I have made a habit of attending at least the first half of the concerts whenever we go.
We should have known that something was up when we arrived and the gate attendants, collecting tickets, started handing out rain checks just in case the concert couldn’t be completed. And then, as we found a comfortable place in the lawn to sit on our chairs, an announcer from the stage let us know that the performance would go on without an intermission – in the hopes that the entire program could be completed before the coming thunderstorms.
As usual, Janet and I stayed about an hour and then packed up to head back to the house. We always enjoy the evening but would rather not get caught up in all the traffic and so we leave a little before the end of the concerts. We returned to the car and arrived home just before the light rain started. It stayed like that for several hours until the wee hours of the morning when the heavens opened up and we had one of the worst storms in recent memory. The thunder and lightning was all around us and the bedroom, even with the shades drawn, was almost as bright as day with the flashes across the night sky.
Normally, I love storms. I have a strong sense of comfort and to lay in bed and listen to the sounds around me is something I cherish. However, as I was awakened by the storms, I couldn’t help but think about whether I locked the downstairs door out into the back patio and yard. I had gone fishing for a few minutes as the sun went down and I was sure that I locked the door after I came in – didn’t I? I decided that maybe, now that I was awake and thinking about it, I should go check it out. But sleep was trying to overcome me once again and I was pretty sure that I had locked the door anyway.
Suddenly, there was one of the brightest flashes of lightning and loudest claps of thunder that I have ever heard. It felt like they were right outside the room – literally. And then it happened – the security alarms in the house started going off and suddenly sirens were blaring on all floors of our home. Now this is a sound we have never even heard during the entire time we have lived here.
I was getting out of bed to head to the security panel and find out what was going on when the sirens stopped as quickly as they had started. If I had been thinking, I would have remembered that there is a security panel in our bedroom, but I was headed out to the main living area of the house. And those sirens were LOUD. I surely think that we must have woken our neighbors. And, then, when Janet and I were fully awake, we experienced total and complete silence – with the exception of the rain falling once again on the roof above us.
The entire event reminded me of the apostle Peter and his warning to us about being alert at all times. God wants us to be on our toes and forever mindful of the presence of Satan and evil all around us. We are never to let down our guard about the dark forces all around us. Even when we are tired, we are to push through and be alert. Tonight’s verse highlights the words of Peter in his first epistle. We are told, in 1 Pet. 5:8-9, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
It is noteworthy that Satan and, specifically, the power of evil is all around us. And as humans, we get tired of constantly being on guard. But we can persevere. My encouragement this evening is that God desires for us to surround ourselves with like-minded people who can help us stand guard against the powers of darkness. My prayer is that you will protect yourself with the armor of God and that you will continue to resist the temptations of the evil one and his legions of fallen angels. Stay alert – and have a great day in the Lord grace and peace…