Hurricane Charley swept through Florida quickly back in 2004. The storm cut a path at least 20 miles wide and 200 miles long, affecting 6.5 million residents.
In our area after the storm, roads and sidewalks were blocked, cars lined up for gas, grocery shelves were bare for some items. We saw the tops of telephone poles hanging over people’s back yards. Wires dangled where traffic lights had been. Many people had car accidents due to people driving through intersections without stopping.
We are very grateful for God’s protection in keeping us safe. We also know many homes were more severely damaged than ours was.
That week, we remembered the various storms of life in Psalm 107 (read the whole Psalm here). The first several difficulties in the psalm were brought about by a person’s own rebellion. God used their difficulties to bring them back to Himself. In all the difficulties described in the psalm, the people come out of their troubles with praise to God.
The particular trouble that caught our eye in Psalm 107 was in verses 23 to 31. Going about our normal business, the sailors are caught in a storm brought by God. Verses 26 and 27 describe their first reactions to the storm:
1) their courage melts,
2) they stagger like drunks,
3) they fear for their lives, and
4) they are at their wit’s end.
Like them, we can find ourselves with:
1) no motivation,
2) no direction,
3) no hope, and
4) no wisdom.
Finally, we remember to cry out to God:
“Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men.” – Psalm 107:28-31(NIV)
Although God allowed the storm in our lives, He also brings us to “our desired haven.” He does not necessarily answer the ”whys” of life. What He does want is to be in the midst of our need … to be with us in troubles and for us to praise Him for His love and goodness even in difficult times.
NOTE: The oil painting, Sailors in the Storm by Egide Linnig, is in the public domain.