Contributed by Peggy

The cellar was cold, musty, and frightening—not a pleasant place for four young girls in the middle of the night.  You see, growing up on a wheat and cotton farm in Western Oklahoma, it was not uncommon for us to be awakened and escorted to the cellar while a storm passed over.  Usually after an hour or so we were allowed to return to our beds.  However, we never really knew what to expect when we opened that cellar door.

Generally the storm had simply run its course and was gone with little damage.  Sometimes there had been wind, rain, and hail.  Occasionally, a tornado had even been spotted in the community.  On one special night, however, the wind and hail had been much more extensive than ever before.

As we emerged out of the cellar that night, we saw that the entire west wall of our living room was missing from the house and the room of furniture was destroyed.  More ominous to our family, though, was the harvest-ready cotton crop totally stripped from the fields.  Acres and acres of lonely brown stalks now missing their fluffy white cotton bolls were all that was left.

As we tried to wrap our minds around what had taken place, something unexpected happened that had more lasting impact on my life than the storm.  My father gently put his arm around my mother’s waist and calmly said, “Well, Mom, I guess we’ll just try cotton again next year.”

I don’t remember how old I was at the time.  I was young enough to be totally dependent on my parents, but old enough to understand the consequences of losing one of two yearly crops.  Nor do I remember how we made it until the wheat crop came six months later.  I don’t even remember repairing the house or replacing the broken furniture.

What I do remember… and will never forget… is the security I felt from my parents’ faith that night, faith that brought us out of the cellar.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”                                                                         Matt 7:24-25 NIV