In the Storm: Finding Rest and Peace

Photo by NOAA

Photo by NOAA

I’m waiting. For Irma.

Her course has moved west some, but she will still cover the state of Florida, after devastating many Caribbean islands.In about 24 hours her outer bands will bring tropical storm winds and rain. Another 24 hours and we begin a night and day of Category 1-2 winds. And maybe 15” of rain.

In southern Mexico this morning there was no waiting. A midnight 8.2 earthquake awakened millions. The strongest quake in a century in Mexico, towns have crumbled and dozens have died.

Several days of torrential rain in Freetown, Sierra Leone, led to a terrible early morning mudslide, destroying 2,000 homes and killing more than 500 people, with hundreds missing. Recovery will be slow.

And in South Asia, an estimated 40 million people in South Asia are struggling to rebuild their lives after massive floods devastated the region nearly a month ago. Entire villages across Bangladesh, India and Nepal remain submerged since the floods began in mid-August.The U.S. Northwest is burning.And of course Houston is still reeling from Hurricane Harvey.Surely it is a mighty time. God’s Word tells us, even as we moan, cry out, lament, wail, that the whole earth joins us: “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” (Romans 8:22)

Our God does not abandon us in the midst of these trials, yes tragedies. Over and over He assures us that he is with us. Read, listen, be comforted and strengthened:

“When you pass through the waters,I will be with you;

and when you pass through the rivers,

they will not sweep over you.When you walk through the fire,

you will not be burned;the flames will not set you ablaze.

For I am the Lord your God,

the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;" (Isaiah 43:2-3)

"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." (Psalm 18:2)

“’Master, Master, we’re going to drown!’ He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. ‘Where is your faith?’ he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, ‘Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.’” (Luke 18:23-25)

"Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,

and he brought them out of their distress.

He stilled the storm to a whisper;

the waves of the sea[b] were hushed.

They were glad when it grew calm,

and he guided them to their desired haven." (Psalm 107:28-30)

"Praise the Lord from the earth,

you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,

lightning and hail, snow and clouds,

stormy winds that do his bidding,…" (Psalm 148:7-8)

"You have been a refuge for the poor,

a refuge for the needy in their distress,

a shelter from the storm

and a shade from the heat." (Isaiah 25:4)

"See, a king will reign in righteousness

and rulers will rule with justice.

Each one will be like a shelter from the wind

and a refuge from the storm,

like streams of water in the desert

and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land (Isaiah 31:1-2)

"He said: 'The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;'" (2 Samuel 22:2)

"Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me." (Psalm 31:2)

"But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble." (Psalm 59:16)

"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most Highwill rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]

I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress,

my God, in whom I trust.'” (Psalm 91:1-2)

May you run to the rock who is higher and find rest and peace.

What about you? What words does God calm you with?

C2017 Judy Douglass