When storms strike, God will stand by us

Published 5:07 am Thursday, March 3, 2016

It’s easy to get consumed with our day-to-day life, but something happens to remind you that whatever you do, whatever your problems, whatever your concerns, there is a much bigger world out there with difficulties and concerns that far outweigh your wants and needs.

Last Wednesday afternoon was one of those times as a storm system roared through the state of Virginia like an out of control freight train spewing carnage and destruction everywhere.

When the storm struck, I was driving through Northern Virginia on the way to an appointment.

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I heard the news, felt the impact of the wind and driving rain, but until the newscasts, didn’t  fully understand the devastation impacting Waverly, Tappahannock and Evergreen near Appomattox. 

Bishop Cho, of the Virginia Conference wrote: “In Appomattox, more than 50 structures were destroyed and more than 100 damaged. Evergreen United Methodist Church sustained significant damage to its roof, and one of Evergreen’s faithful members, Keith Harris, died in the tornado.

His wife was seriously injured when her car was struck by a tree. In Waverly, two houses and a mobile home were completely destroyed, and three people, including a two-year-old child, were killed. In Tappahannock, at least 50 structures were damaged.”

I know we all lead busy lives, but there are three communities in Virginia in crisis and they need our help. Bishop Cho wrote: “We grieve with those who grieve as they seek to rebuild their lives and homes in the wake of these storms. But even as we grieve, we are responding with the love and hope of Christ.”

This week, I was once again reminded of the greater world around me and how we often miss the opportunities to help others.

God needs our Christian witness for both our day-to-day living as well as during times of crisis. I was also vividly reminded of my need for God. 

“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.

“He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord. Oh, the joys of those who trust in the Lord.” — Psalm 40:1-4 

God will lift the communities of Waverly, Evergreen and Tappahannock out of the mud and mire caused by the recent storm.

He will set their feet on solid ground and steady their walk. He will give them a new song to sing and many will see and put their trust in the Lord. God will do the same for you and for me.  

Charles Tindley wrote a beautiful hymn: “When the storms of life are raging, stand by me. When the storms of life are raging, stand by me. When the world is tossing me, like a ship upon the sea, thou who rulest wind and water, stand by me.” 

In the midst of the recent storms remember the God who will always be there to stand by you.

God will help to strengthen your resolve, travel the unmarked road, and in the midst of crisis, lift your heart toward heaven and refuse to let you fall down.

REV. LARRY E. DAVIES can be reached at larrydavies@sowingseedsoffaith.com.