Seeing God in the “Storm”
“A storm doesn’t necessarily mean rain, thunder, lightning, etc. It can be a storm of emotions when facing a cancer diagnosis, the loss of a loved one, the end of a marriage. Storms leave us feeling like we have been pelted with hail from all directions, like we can’t breathe because the wind has been knocked out of us. Yet, consider these words in Isaiah 43:2:
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”
We know our world has faced some historic devastation from hurricanes, fires and earthquakes in recent months. The many emotions we feel as we walk through our storms are very real and very different for each of us. Many of us have family and friends who have been affected from monster storm, Hurricane Irma. There are so many levels of devastation, each deserving of prayer and support. But let us not forget to Praise Him too as we see in James 5:13:
“Are any among you suffering? They should keep on praying about it. And those who have reason to be thankful should continually sing praises to the Lord.”
We all have reason to be thankful. Just look back at Isaiah 43:2…the promise that God is with us.
As I write I am currently going through my own personal “mini” storm as well as walking this storm called Hurricane Irma with my brother Tab, and his family. A storm that was a real storm now becomes an emotional storm. Like many, they lost everything in their apartment after a minimum of knee-high water soaked and contaminated everything they owned (except for the few things they evacuated with). They did all they could to protect their belongings as they had just experienced a similar scenario with Hurricane Matthew not long ago. I could continue on with the details of devastation, however, it is the promise as mentioned in Isaiah 43:2 that I desire to focus on as well as Praising God in our storms.
Tab’s family has felt God with them, through prayers, through the favor that Tab’s place of employment is up and running and that his son’s home was a safe shelter and only without power for one day. He is grateful that God provided a place to go and they did not have to spend many hours in traffic or spend dollars (that they did not have) in expenses of evacuating. Their landlord has provided a different apartment with no expenses to be incurred other than the water hookup fee.
I get to be a witness to what God has done and what He is doing. I hear how they lost all their beds, their kitchen table and chairs, small tables and lamps, dressers, children’s books and games. Yet I hear of how family members are stepping outside a water soaked home and shouting at the top of their voice, “Praise You Father! You are my Almighty God!” They tell me that everyone who lives on the bottom floor of their apartment complex lost pretty much everything. Yet they go on to tell me that one of the neighbors has a 9 year-old boy who lost his game system and was very emotional about this. My family member gave him hers. Of course, this brought much tears of joy from this little 9 year-old. In the storm, this family gives what is now an abundance to them.
How encouraging it is to know the promise that God is with us?! Our Father does not leave us when the going gets tough, when the waters are high and we feel like a soaked mess. We must look for Him in the storm. Seek Him and cry out to Him. Our eyes may not see Him clearly in every moment of the storm, but He IS there. Look to your friends and neighbors. He IS there. Look at the color of the changing leaves in the fall, see when the water recedes, relish the rainbow after a storm. He IS there. Maybe it’s a smile on the face of a stranger. Maybe it is when He stretches you and asks you to share out of your abundance. This IS God. He IS with you!
Our Father wants to protect us and provide for us. Take some time today and see where He has protected you…where He is providing for you and share from your abundance.
A final quote from Kathleen, Tab’s girlfriend, “God is definitely working blessings because He is giving us His strength to get the apartment cleaned and somewhat livable.” This was before they were blessed with the news that they would be relocated.”
The above is one story of hundreds impacted by Hurricane Irma.
If you feel God leading you to contribute financially to those effected by Hurricane Irma, you can give online via the following link: http://gracekleincommunity.com/donate/
OR check donations can be mailed to: Grace Klein Community, 1678 Montgomery Hwy #104, Birmingham, AL 35216
Memo line: “Irma”