But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me. Psalm 22:19
As I watched with horror, the destruction of hurricane Ian, I remembered our close experience with a hurricane in Maryland.
We had prepared the outside of the house and felt it would fare with minor damage. The rains arrived, just as the weather reports had predicted. First, I watched the pond behind our house overflow its banks, then ebb into the picnic shelter and baseball fields. Soon, the winds began to howl, and the house started to shake. I prayed for protection from the damage I knew this storm could bring. Then the power went out.
My daughter went down to the basement to find a flashlight and immediately called us.
“Mom, Dad, there’s water down here!”
Expecting to find slight dampness, my husband and I went down and discovered the water was at least four inches deep. At first, we thought it was coming from the sump pump because we did not have a generator. Then as we walked around in the dark, we heard strange gurgling noises and discovered fountains bubbling up from the floor drains. It seemed the sewage lines were flooded and backing up into our house!
Remember the boy trying to plug the holes in the dike? As we blocked one drain, the other drain bubbled up even higher. We scurried around to unplug and remove any electronics, then lifted the furniture onto wooden blocks and paint cans to avoid exposure to the sewage. We mopped, bailed, or did anything to control the water, but it was coming in faster than we could handle. We tried to protect what we could until the wee hours of the morning.
The night was long as the wind wailed, and the rain continued to fall. Morning came too soon. We dragged ourselves out of bed and reluctantly went downstairs to assess our losses. Pictures, albums, furniture, books, and more were destroyed by the waters of the storm.
The smell was intolerable, and it became apparent that we would need professional help to clean the mess. It was days before we could find a company to help us clean up. But they knew exactly what to do. They cut up the drywall, tore up the carpet, and literally destroyed every room in an attempt to dry out the complete area. We were left with half-exposed cinder block walls and cement floors. Everything on that floor had been damaged, yet, I realized we did not lose our entire home as many others had in the same storm. Still, the task appeared overwhelming.
Storms come in many forms and sweep through our lives without warning. They leave a trail of destruction, loss, and pain in their path.
When these storms hit, we can become paralyzed and exhausted by the immensity of the destruction. Trying to rebuild our strength and take a step forward each day can be overwhelming. These are the times when we depend entirely on the wisdom of our Lord because we cannot make sense of the situation.
King David experienced destruction in his life from many battles and storms. Each time he learned to trust in God for wisdom and guidance. He left us a gift in the Psalms with prayers that ask for or tell of God’s wisdom, comfort, and strength in times of trouble. (NIV)
Psalm 22:19 But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
Psalm 20:1-2 May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.
No matter how large or small your storm is, no matter how much was lost or destroyed, you are not alone. God is with you and powerful enough to support you and help you sort out, clean up and overcome the challenges. So, seek Him as you pick up the pieces and rebuild from the destruction of your storm.
Dear Lord Jesus, there are days I don’t even have the words to pray. I know you are the God of hope, love, and strength. Help me feel Your presence and power. Grant me the energy to face this day and renew my stamina for future days. Amen