My Irrational Fear

I don’t exactly envy Elijah’s ride to heaven in a whirlwind.  A whirlwind is basically a tornado, isn’t it?  Was he excited or terrified? Was his adrenaline pumping as it swirled and descended toward him from the sky carrying the chariot and horses on blazes of fire? 

Not just in childhood but to this very day, my nightmares usually involve a dark and sinister tornado, or a herd of threatening tornadoes galloping across the horizon.  Skinny ones, wide ones, in a snowstorm, on a rocky cliff, even on the top of a building during a fire while being held at gunpoint – no dream exactly alike but all have a common denominator. 

Maybe it started with the annual viewing of the movie “Wizard of Oz” as a child growing up in Kansas, and maybe it continued with the devastating destruction of a mile-wide tornado that blasted neighborhoods adjacent to mine back in 1999. The daily drive through the war zone imprinted in my mind as fresh as if it were yesterday, adding fuel to my nightmares.

Yet, anticipating a “long-track strong tornado” from a developing supercell is horrifyingly exciting.  Why?  Is it merely the break in the monotony of daily routine?  Is it the knowledge that someone’s life is about to be turned upside down – and hoping it won’t be mine?  Is it the thrill of danger? The power of something wild that is way beyond my control, like being on a wild roller coaster, but trusting in the tracks and operator to keep me safe?  The anticipation in reality is better than the fear in my nightmares.

Perhaps tornadoes are my symbol of insecurity – the potential for something completely beyond my control to turn my life totally upside down.  If I know that God controls everything that crosses my path and that He will not allow something that is not for my good or will make Him look great, then why this crazy fear?  I know His plan for me is right and good, but I also know it won’t be easy.  It might even be painful, but He is orchestrating the unexpected into my life to accomplish His purposes. 
Maybe a ride to heaven in a whirlwind wouldn’t be so bad after all.

Photo courtesy of NSSL


  1. As a young child, I lived in a "tornado belt" in what was meant to be a summer rental home--in other words, it was like a cardboard box with windows and a screen door and no basement or storm cellar nearby. To add to the problem, my mother was terrified by storms. I still have tornado dreams when it is windy. I have a basement now.

    However, like my father, I have this strange fascination with tornadoes also. I have watched waterspouts with abandonment of my own safety at times and went with him when he would chasea developing funnel cloud. I am complicated and conflicted even about tornadoes!

    Being taken up to heaven in a whirlwind would definitely be an attention-getter for me.

  2. Being in that whirlwind can be a wild ride indeed but if we believe that he is sovereign, that nothing takes him by surprise, and that he is working all things for his purposes we can hang on.

  3. Hi. Visiting from SeekingmyLord's.

    I live in cyclone country so am wary of big winds but it is Elisha who fascinates me. He sees Elijah go & basically turns to God & says ~ I want a double portion of what he had, I mean, wow! Ganeida

  4. Fasinated in reading this post Paula. Appreciate you sharing. Encouraging.