“Things have gotten so much better, Pastor. My life is really in a good place right now.”
As we shared lunch and I listened to her story, it sounded like things have really gotten better. There was a pretty dark period a while back. She told me how her faith, her family, and her community all played a role in helping her through the storms. I’m glad that things have gotten better. But, for her and all of us whose have overcome challenges, there may be another storm that comes and dumps its ugly contents, in great abundance, into our lives.
Some people, right now, are living in the midst of a storm—even though Florence has moved past us. Some are dealing with the loss of property, or the tragic death of loved ones, or a disruption to normal daily life, the loss of a place to stay, loss of health, and a myriad of other concerns from that massive storm. And for many, it’s not a quick cleanup. The messes might linger for quite a while.
I was talking with a young parent recently who has many issues at home. In laws. Out laws. Ex’s. Numerous challenges with the kids. Some of the storms had passed. But some were lingering—just like a tropical storm, stalled above us, dumping more than we can handle. So, I asked him how he was dealing with all of it. He talked about God in his life, his family, and the community, and about how each is helping him with his storms.
Let’s be honest. We all have our storms. Sometimes they blow over, but sometimes they linger and do major damage. And whether we have supportive families and community networks, or not, know that there is One to whom each of us can always turn, One who never sleeps, One who never turns a deaf ear to our concerns, One who is always with us. For even during our storms, God is with us. The Bible tells us so:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.
Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
I am praying for you and whatever storms you’re going through.
Peace and love to you,
(scripture verses from the English Standard Version)