No power but peace through the storm
My electricity came back on today. The loss of power for three days was my biggest causality of Hurricane Irene’s intense rump along the East Coast. I’m grateful that it was not any worse. And my prayers go out to those who lost loved ones or property as a result of Irene. The aftermath with flooding waters caused more damage inthe Northeast, including in New England.
What a week; first a 5.9 earthquake to shake things up in D.C. and other least expected places and then a wind-whipping, water-churning hurricane. What’s a soul to do except pick up some extra batteries for the flashlights, make sure there’s enough nuts to munch on and water to drink, and pray for God’s protection.
By Friday evening when it was pretty certain Irene was coming our way, my pastor decided to move our Sunday worship service to Saturday. She didn’t want the storm to stop us from worshipping that weekend. And it didn’t. We enjoyed a sweet time of singing, praising and hearing the preached word from Pastor Turner about not worrying about the storms of life. Instead, she encouraged us to heed the words of Philippians 4: 6-7:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
We also prayed that Hurricane Irene would not be as disastrous as news accounts predicted. Fortunately for the greater majority of people who could have been impacted it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, even though millions of dollars worth of property was damaged and thousands of people along the East Coast still do not have power.
Already this year, according to one news report, we have had 66 natural disasters from blizzards, tornadoes, flooding, and brush fires to hurricanes. Another hurricane is gathering strength in the Atlantic Ocean near Africa now and could potentially be headed our way. Rather than worry, prepare by praying.
Here is a prayer to consider from poet Paul Laurence Dunbar:
When Storms Arise
When storms arise
And dark’ning skies
About me threat’ning lower,
To Thee my tortured spirit flies
For solace in that hour.
The mighty arm
Will let no harm
Come near me nor befall me;
Thy voice shall quiet my alarm,
When life’s great battle waxeth warm –
No foeman shall appall me.
Upon they breast
Secure I rest,
From sorrow and vexation;
No more sinful cares oppressed,
But in thy presence ever blest
O God of my salvation.
Paul Laurence Dunbar (1895)