Satellite images showed us the scale of flooding and devastation in Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico this month. With rainfall topping 50-inches in some areas, Harvey blasted a huge part of Texas stretching from the Houston area into Louisiana. One resident yelled out “our whole city is underwater.” We watched the news as rescue operations took place and the human toll affected all of us.
But in the midst of the devastation there were many positive stories, too. The strength of the human spirit, rescue efforts from all over the country, brotherly love, compassion and finances that poured in to aid those in need.
Hurricanes have names - Harvey, Irma… The Bible describes another kind of storm that can enter our lives with little warning. Hurricanes that we have names for. What have you named your hurricane? Divorce, death in the family, sickness, financial ruin, depression over a life that has not gone the way you planned or hoped? Yes, hurricanes have names and can become very personal and devastating. Yet, as damaging and frightful as these storms can be, there is some good news. They pass.
In the Bible, the Disciples found themselves faced with a life-threatening storm out at sea. They called on Jesus who was asleep in the bottom of the boat. Have you ever called on God and had the feeling that He was asleep? Jesus is awakened by the panic and fear of the Disciples who thought this was the end for them. Jesus gets up and speaks to the storms and says: “peace be still” and the storm passed. To those of us who cry out to God in a time of crisis, He promises a “peace that surpasses all understanding.” He is still speaking to storms. When your life seems to be under water, when everything seems to be going south, a rescue operation is under way. God is still able to minister to our fears and needs with “peace be still.”
For those who have gone through a storm and are still suffering the consequences and residual affects of it, God is here for that too. He knows that even though your personal storm has passed, there is a rebuilding process needed. Let us all look to God as the source of restoration and peace even in the midst of a storm.
Psalm 107:28-31 Yet when they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, the Lord brought them out of their distress. He calmed the storm and its waves quieted down. So they rejoiced that the waves became quiet, and he led them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his gracious love and for his awesome deeds on behalf of mankind.