We used to be a tenting family. We liked to tent in the backyard or at campgrounds. We only had Jeanna and Zach when we took our first trip. As we grew in size and numbers the tent grew bigger. We've created some great memories through the years.
However, the first campout with the WHOLE CREW was a bit of an adventure. You see, we hadn't camped for a few years and now that I was teaching we decided with our summers free-er we should get the kids out and camping. So we did a "test run" for a weekend by Redfield at Fisher Grove. The kids were excited, the gear was packed, and Amy had the food planned. Ezekiel was just over a year old, and the rest of the kids stair-stepped up to Jeanna who was nearly 8. The first night we did a campfire, roasted marshmallows and hot dogs (for Darby), and watched the distant lightning. It was a beautiful night. As we all crawled into the tent and hunkered down ("Those are crickets, Darby. Yes, they will do that all night.") I was happy. We were safe in our tent and all together on what was going to be the first of many family vacations. Then it happened...
Amy and I woke with a start at about 2:30. Our tent was being ripped from the ground, while the walls were being blown in. I threw on my sandals and crawled outside to find that we were in the middle of a hurricane! Amy, laughing the whole time, would hold down corners as I re-staked them. She held up the side of the tent as I drove the van to a place where it would shield us from the wind. About 30 minutes later, both of us laughing and wet while the wind still threatened to take the tent to Oz, we were able to go back to sleep. In the morning, none of the kids had any idea what had happened! Every one of them had slept through it. Are you kidding me?!
It reminds of what I read in Psalm 27:5 last night. David says, "For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock." What I notice as I look at this is not that the tent protects David; it is whose tent it is. David knows that he is sheltered because he dwells in the Lord's house, and even if he is in a tent that is enough covering to protect him in the day of trouble.
That tent of ours was not able to protect us if that storm got much worse, but my children rested secure knowing that Mom and Dad were going to keep them safe. May we rest in that same assurance; that God will protect us as we dwell in His house and His tent.
By the way, two months later the same thing happened on our REAL tenting vacation. And the kids slept through that one as well...