Tuesday, October 11, 2016

If you've been in the eye of the storm

I left the Catalyst conference last Thursday evening where I was volunteering for a few days and found because of Hurricane Matthew, many evacuees from the coast were making their way into Atlanta where the conference was held to stay with family and friends until the storm passed by. Evidently, because of this, every Atlanta thoroughfare was jammed to the max.

So many that evening were waiting, watching, and hoping despite dire predictions of wind speeds and storm surge that they’d have a home after the storm passed. People I knew personally were as we heard repeatedly “hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.”

I’d just left a woman I worked with whose mother was in an intensive care unit in Florida where the storm was about to hit. All the doctors and nurses there were under 72-hour lock down. Repeatedly, my friend’s flights to Florida had been cancelled, but she still hoped to get a flight out the next morning to be with her mother.

I work at the Catalyst registration desk, and a pastor and his wife approached the desk. Concern and compassion spilled out. ”Could we transfer our tickets to next year? The storm is veering toward the area where we pastor a church and we feel we need to return.” I felt for them driving so far having just arrived the day before.

Another family I know evacuated to the north, but their home sits on a coastal marsh. Any amount of storm surge could destroy everything they owned. This family had already suffered the loss of their only son a few years back.

My heart broke as I prayed for these folks.

I inched along in the traffic. It was clear I was going to have an extraordinarily long trip home. I turned on the radio and “In the Eye of the Storm” played. Click HERE to listen.
 
I couldn’t imagine a more appropriate song for those who had left everything and were now stuck on the interstate wondering what the outcome might be. It’s as if the words were written just for them. Now I cried as I prayed.

I wondered about the person who wrote “In the Eye of the Storm.” How could he write such words if he hadn’t experienced loss? When I returned home, I did a little research.

The author, Ryan Stevenson, was a paramedic for eight years, lost his mom early in life, and he and his wife suffered the miscarriage of twin daughters. He said this in a New Release Today interview, “One of the things I've seen as a paramedic is that we all have true, real struggles, ugly parts of our lives that we are dealing with and failures and defeats. In the middle of that, when we feel our sails are ripped out in the battles and wars we are going through, we can feel like we float out to sea where the Lord isn't paying attention to us and He's overlooked us. I want this song to say no to that. His promise to us is that He is the anchor of our being, and He is our only hope.”

Ryan had written the song just as a personal testimony thinking it would never see air play, but God has used it over and over to bring encouragement to those going through hard times. And I’m sure Hurricane Matthew was no exception.

So here on this Tuesday morning, many are now digging out. Some have found trees or wind have destroyed their homes or if they’re still standing, water has flooded them. Our prayers go out to those driven from their homes in North Carolina because of the terrible flooding. Sadly, many lives have been lost during the lashing of this storm. So even after the storm passes, there’s so much grief and heartache still to deal with, but we remember that last thing Ryan said: “His promise to us is that He is the anchor of our being, and He is our only hope.”

That works when dealing with the effects of a storm named Matthew or one by any other name, too.
God is a safe place to hide,
    ready to help when we need him.
We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,
    courageous in seastorm and earthquake,
Before the rush and roar of oceans,
    the tremors that shift mountains (Psalm 46:1-3 The Message).

No comments:

Post a Comment

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...