Pummeled by The Storms

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by Mary L. Hamilton

As I write this, Irma is pummeling Florida. I try to imagine what personal friends and writing friends and Facebook friends are experiencing. But I fail miserably, the same way I failed to imagine the devastation to my friends and former neighbors in the Houston area only two weeks ago. I see pictures from the western part of our country—of smoke-filled air that reduces colorful mountains to shades of brown and gray, and turns clean fresh air into hazardous material. 

Someone posted a note on Facebook to the effect that God made us to be in community, and when we pull too far apart, He sends a disaster to bring us back together. 

I don’t know if that’s theologically correct, but these days, it appears to have some degree of truth. The news is no longer filled with protesters battering each other and racial or political disagreements or divisions. People are watching and praying for each other, meeting needs, and focusing on what really matters. 

A woman who served on the mission field for several years commented that here in the U.S., we’re surrounded by Stuff, and it entices our attention away from the Lord. She said on the mission field, you have no Stuff. You only have the Lord, so it’s easier to stay focused on what He’s telling you to do. It makes me wonder if God is using these natural disasters to take away our Stuff, prying our fingers off the things that distract us from His calling on our lives. 

At the same time, I see posts meant to encourage and remind us that God can move mountains, that He commands the winds and the waves and walks on water. But what does that mean to the person huddled in a cramped closet as one after another tornado siren is going off? How does faith survive when the waves are up to the roof, and you’ve waited hours in the rain for a boat to come and take you to dry land? For that matter, how does one believe in Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals, when the doctor says he’s done all he can? Scriptures are filled with miracles that seem to mock our present circumstances. 

I’m certain that’s how Peter felt when he took his eyes off Jesus to look at the wind and the waves around him. The wind tore at him, pushing him off course. The waves rose up to swallow him. It’s scary in the midst of the storm. Terrifying. Moments seem like hours, hours stretch like days or weeks or years.  

Jesus faced the most terrifying of all circumstances. He knew the physical torture that awaited him, but the battle was spiritual as well as physical. He knew the fear, the desire to be anywhere else but in the storm. And yet, He focused on the one true and trustworthy point in all creation. The Father. It always comes back to where our focus lies. 

It’s difficult in the midst of a raging storm, in the middle of blinding pain and desperate circumstances to continue trusting until we come out on the other end. It seems impossible to focus on the Lord and not on the wind and waves and fires and disease. But what other choice do we have? No one but the Lord can command wind and waves, to raise the dead, to walk through the fire with us. May we say with Job, “I know that you can do all things… My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you.” 

Blessed be the Lord.

Speak No Evil

About the Author:

Mary L. HamiltonAward-winning author Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a youth camp in southern Wisconsin, much like the setting for her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. Currently, she’s working on a cozy suspense novel. Besides writing, she enjoys a little amateur photography, knitting, reading and being outdoors. Connect with her at www.maryhamiltonbooks.com 

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1 Comment

  1. Pam Johnson

     /  September 15, 2017

    Thank you for the thought today. As I heal from my emergency surgery, I am always thankful God is with me. It could have been worse or at a worse time. God is good…all the time.

    Reply

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