Peace in the Storm
Our area was hit pretty hard with Hurricane Matthew in 2016. It was unexpected and many people were unprepared. Many families are still displaced from their irreparable homes and working to rebuild… and another storm is approaching.
Last year was my first experience with hurricane season. I felt extremely unprepared and fearful that our brand new house would be destroyed and I would be stranded on top of our roof with three babies and no way to escape. I was anxious, checking the forecast every few minutes for changes, and feeling so unprepared with supplies, insurance, and a plan.
But God so graciously reminded me that He created the wind and the waves. At a single word from our Lord, the storm will have no choice but to calm (Matt. 8:27). And if it doesn’t, He is still in our midst. He is still with us. He promises to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5)and He never breaks His promises. Though the storm may overcome my home, my worldly comforts, and my very body; I have hope knowing that through the blood of Christ the storm has no hold over my soul.
I have had moments of doubt and fear. When I hear the worries of others and read the weather reports calling this a life-threatening storm, I fear for our well being and try to overthink our course of action. I plan how to rearrange our home for flood damage and what items can store water. I make plans with our of state friends in the case of evacuation. I pack our go bag so if necessary we can toss it in the car and go. I research the flood areas from the previous storm to see if we are on high ground or in the middle of a flood zone. Through all this planning I have stayed practical and pushed aside the anxiety. By the grace of God alone I am preparing instead of panicking.
You see, earlier this week I turned on the sprinkler to water our very parched grass. I mentally complained at the higher water bill and asked the Lord for rain to provide nourishment instead. I also was so excited to wear my new raincoat that I bought because I got caught in enough sudden downpours that completely soaked my clothes. But the rain didn’t come and the grass grew dry and brittle. But now I see this as such a mercy! When the rains from this storm hit, they will fall fast and heavy but they will be falling on dry ground. For Hurricane Matthew, the seasonal rains had already begun to fall and the ground was soft and easily moved. This made the storm devastation so much worse and tore apart streets and felled trees along with the flooding. This storm is expected to have stronger winds and greater rainfall, but the ground will be dry and firm. The rain may drain before the greater damage is sustained. So while our land appeared to need rain, the Lord was preparing it for the rising storm.
As Hurricane Florence approaches, I am resting in the grace and goodness of God. He covers every aspect of my fear. If our nonperishables run out, the Lord is our bread of life (John 6:35). If we run out of batteries for our flashlights, the Lord is the light of the world (John 8:12). If the flood threatens our streets and home, the Lord is our living water (John 7:37-38). If the storm claims our lives, the Lord has secured our eternity with Him forever (John 10:28). Some may think this is taking the situation lightly or that I am simplifying it with Christianese language. I used to agree and be overwhelmed with despair and anxiety when difficulties emerged. But I truly trust in the Lord our God for protection and provision over our souls. In the end, that is all that matters.
So pray that the storm turns out to sea. Pray that people remain physically safe and that evacuations happen where needed and that barricades hold strong. Pray that rescue efforts are successful and that every life is accounted for where the floods and winds and rains destroy. But most importantly, pray that souls will turn to Christ and confess with their mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in their hearts that He has risen from the dead (Romans 10:9) and covers their sins. Nothing is of greater importance in this world and this potentially life-threatening storm is a critical time for lost souls to find redemption.
To read my thoughts on storm season last year, click here.