Storms can come in many forms, but God will help you weather them all

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Now that we are in the midst of hurricane season, I thought that a column written by my daughter, Ronny, would be appropriate.

Hurricane Katrina. Hearing those two words will evoke memories for years to come, and perhaps the rest of our lives. Blue tarp-covered roofs, FEMA trailers, and empty storefronts are dreadful memories of that horrific storm. One of the many things that I remember about that time is a newscast that I saw a few months after the hurricane.  It featured a homeowner who was waiting for insurance money to make the necessary repairs. Standing in her living room, she pointed to the dark horizontal line on the wall near the ceiling and said, “The water came up to here.”  No one would have doubted her words, for the evidence of the flood water was obvious. Storms can leave damage that require great effort to repair or rebuild.

As sobering as it is for me to see an area that has been ravaged by a hurricane, tornado, or flood, I believe that it’s much sadder to see people who have been damaged by the storms of life. Such storms come in many ways. Divorce, sickness, financial trouble, job loss, or the premature death of loved ones are some of the experiences that can leave a person storm-damaged. These victims walk around bearing marks that may be invisible, but are not imaginary. Anger, bitterness, fear, anxiety, and unforgiveness are only a few examples of the evidence of storms that pass through our lives.

My compassion is not enough to bring restoration into the lives of people who are suffering, but I can lead them to Jesus,Who issued the invitation to “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 Whether our burdens are ones that others have placed on us or sins that we’ve allowed into our lives, Jesus wants us to be free. Only He can heal a heart and restore a soul to wholeness.

Not everyone is damaged by the life’s storms. Even when the flood waters of adversity rise or the winds increasingly blow against them, some Christians not only remain strong in their faith, but they actually seem to grow stronger. They remind me of the three Hebrew boys in the third chapter of Daniel who were thrown into the fire for not bowing down to false gods. When they came out, the fire had not touched them, and they didn’t even smell like smoke.

If you come across someone in the middle of a storm, send them to Jesus, and remind them of Isaiah 43:2 where the Lord says that He will be with us through the storms of life.

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