Finding Calm after the Storm
The storms of mid-June created quite a stir in our area, cutting a swath of destruction through a number of communities and neighborhoods. Many of you sustained considerable damage to your property and a lengthy loss of power, but thankfully, there were no serious injuries.
The splintered trees and scattered limbs are indicative of the potential fury of nature, but we know that there will be other storms in the future. We just don’t know when, nor do we know how damaging they might be.
It is wise then for us to be reminded that storms can crop up anywhere and anytime, but it is also important that we not become preoccupied with what might happen tomorrow, next week, next month, or even next year.
The Gospel of Matthew has always served as a source of perspective with this familiar passage from Chapter 6: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
It’s true that we worry about many things, but this passage reminds us how futile it is to worry about that which is beyond our control. None of us could have prevented the storms that hit our area last month, but what we can do is to be grounded in our faith so that we are better prepared to weather not only the storms in nature, but also the everyday circumstantial storms and crises that disrupt our lives.
When storms rise, we are urged to rest on our faith and the knowledge that God is always with us. Joshua 1:9 urges us to “be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Further encouragement comes from Psalm 91 (1-5), which assures us that “we live within the shadow of the Almighty, sheltered by God who is above all gods. This I declare that he alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I am trusting him. For her rescues you from every trap and protects you from the fatal plague. He will shield you with his wings. They will shelter you. His faithful promises are your armor. Now you don’t need to be afraid of the dark anymore, nor fear the dangers of the day.”
When storms threaten, the best thing we can do is to rely on our faith as Psalm 9:9-10 states, “the Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of distress. Those who know your name will trust you, for you have not forsaken those who seek you, Lord.”
Until We Meet Again, Be Blessed! – Pastor John