Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Photo Attribution:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/
Department of Commerce
(Tornado near end of life)
We’re nearing the beginning of the tornado season here in East Tennessee. A few years back, during a rotational storm, every other house took on extreme wind and hail damage, each costing tens of thousands of U.S. dollars to repair. Unfortunately, the house I occupy happened to be one of the “other.” Before it struck, I had anticipated trouble when, in the quiet lull before that particular system, my pets tried to, uncharacteristically, hide inside the piano. That gave me a clue to take cover. The storm passed quickly, but left destruction in its wake. And although nerve racking, there existed a tinge of what I can only describe as thrill.

I questioned that, this sense of thrill, especially within a force so powerful and potentially life threatening. My mind began to wander, and I considered those who work as real storm chasers, tracking systems, racing with equipment in tow to the projected path of potential disaster. I have enjoyed watching documentaries on such curious people, who take great risks, seeking that big break. To capture evidence or footage unique to him/her and their perspective on the disturbance that lands them on the map of meteorological success. Storm chasers strike me not only as adventure seekers, but purpose-driven junkies.

Well, I suppose in a sense I am a storm chaser. Not literally, but forever and a day looking for atmospheric (spiritual) intensity, searching for that single event which could alter the course of my life.

Here is my oft spoken heavenly petition, “Here am I, God, stir up the gales a bit, please. Things have grown too sedentary again, and you know how that affects me.” I then proceed to solicit guidance and direction, and a stirring - His move and the winds of the Holy Spirit - in my life. At the same instance of asking for a squall over stillness, I recite the words: I look to you for protection. I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until this violent storm is past. I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me…Psalm 57:1-2  

Invite a storm and then request protective “backup” in order to get through it. Ha! Let me explain through H.P. Grant, who said it well, “We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds.”

My thirst for skill and knowledge to achieve that high wind sail prevails. Though I paint a figurative picture of storm chasing, I suppose in my heart-of-hearts it’s the desire to have the strength of faith to survive, make it through anything, and capture that which I seem to desperately seek: God getting my attention in an irrefutable manner, rather than the other way around. So in the height of a terrible tempest, I have no choice but that He holds me steady as she goes.

A veteran of the performing arts and worldwide missions, Tessa Stockton also contributed as a writer/editor for ministry publications, ghostwriter for political content, and headed a column on the topic of forgiveness. Today, she writes romance and intrigue novels in a variety of genres.


  1. Thank you Tessa. I'm glad you survived - and I'm also glad that is one thrill I am not likely to face, living in South Africa. The idea doesn't thrill me, although I agree. It makes for a good story! Shirl

  2. Tessa, thanks for sharing your analogy with storms. We don't often experience tornados in Australia, and the ones we've had in recent years have devastated communities. Stay safe as your tornado season approaches.

  3. Living in central Kansas, the tornado allusion was extremely pertinent. I've lived through some of the other storms you mentioned, however, and God's eternal vigilance and care have seen me through them.

    He is the rock of safety in our storms.

  4. Amen, Judith. I like that, "He is the rock of safety in our storms." Beautiful!