When The Storm Is Coming
According to the news, a hurricane is on the way. Hurricane Matthew is slowly but surely making it's way north and west. Where I live was once in what was referred to as the "cone of uncertainty." Now it's almost certain that we're going to get at least a heavy dose of high winds and heavy rain.
The shelves of our local stores are devoid of bread and water, and many gas stations are out of gas. Fortunately, we went grocery shopping on Sunday and stocked up on stuff and we got gas yesterday before things got really crazy.
Our flashlights will be ready to go, and we have a good stock of candles. Our phones and iPods will be charged up, and so will our quick charge batteries in case we lose power for a while.
By all appearances, we seem to be ready for the storm. The Weather Channel just issued their latest predictions and it appears that where we live may be spared much of the seriously high winds that are going to hit the coast. But then again, how ready can you be for things that you can't control?
This storm reminds me of all of the ways that we face storms in our own lives--things that happen to us that we can't control, no matter how hard we try to prepare for the worst. In the end, we simply have to trust that even in the midst of the storms of life, God is present with us, riding it out by our side.
The Psalmist who wrote Psalm 107 got this. He wrote the following as a song of thanksgiving:
28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress.29 He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.30 They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.31 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.The Lord is near. Whatever storms you may be facing--whether they be real or imagined, spiritual or physical, emotional or circumstantial... The Lord is near. When you cry out to the Lord, the Lord hears you--because the Lord is near.
Even today as we pray for all those who have already been affected by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, Cuba and now the Bahamas, and we offer prayers for all of us who are now in it's path... we can pray with confidence because the Lord is near.
May you experience God's presence today in peace and hope. May you find courage to face the storms of your life. May all of us who are facing the very real storm heading our way across the sea feel courage and hope as well. The Lord is near.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.