Hurricane Ike Band

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He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.

Psalm 107:29

In September of 2008, my son and I flew to Houston for a weekend. My daughter flew down from Montana and we all stayed at my sister’s house.  We made these reservations long before we knew Hurricane Ike was headed right towards Houston.  Having grown up in Houston and being very familiar with hurricanes, we began the work of preparing for possible disaster.

We bought food and water and put things up that were outside and boarded up what windows we could, rounded up flashlights and batteries and the radio.  All that was left to do was pray and wait.  Hurricane Ike hit Houston in the middle of the night.  The winds were howling, rain was pouring and all power went out and the city was dark.  When we got up the next morning, we surveyed the damage and realized we were housebound for several days along with the rest of the city as workers worked to get roads open and power on.

My sister has two guitars, a piano and a keyboard that didn’t require electricity and we started playing songs.  We spent a long time singing and playing instruments and laughing at our not so good songs and marveling at our great ones. We called ourselves the Hurricane Ike Band!  It was a wonderful, memorable time together waiting out the storm.

You may not be going through an actual hurricane.  I certainly hope not, but what storm howls at your door and causes you sleepless nights? What answer are you waiting on?  Are you in need of divine healing that hasn’t come? Waiting stinks, but it doesn’t have to.  We could have huddled over the radio listening to all kinds of bad reports and wrung our hands and made ourselves sick with worry, but we chose instead to create music.  Peace in a storm is possible.  Remember when Jesus was sleeping on the boat when the storm hit the lake and the disciples freaked out?  Jesus woke up, calmed the storm and the disciples were left scratching their heads.  Who is this Jesus?

Jesus is the calmer of the storm, the peace in the midst of bad reports, the Comforter who holds us through difficult times.  Whatever the storm of your life is, He is greater and He is for you not against you.  Isn’t that something to sing about!

Jesus, calmer of my storms, thank You.  You are always present, always here for me no matter what the circumstances of my life may be and I am so grateful.  Thank You for keeping me safe through the storm and giving me new songs to sing.  Help me, I pray, to remember that when the storm comes I can count on You. Amen.

 

pic credit: texascoastgeology.com

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Betrayed

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Ever been betrayed by someone who professed to love you?  Ever find yourself in a relationship that was dissolving right before your eyes and wondering how it happened?  Ever had someone you trusted break a promise to you – lie to you – turn away from you?  Probably we all have and it hurts, really hurts.

What about other betrayals?  I felt betrayed by my body when it no longer could perform daily tasks; really betrayed.  It wasn’t easy to come to grips with the fact that this body that has carried me faithfully for so many years was now unable to do so.  I felt betrayed by doctors who medicated me and sent me on my way without really hearing me or seeing me.  Betrayal.  It stinks.

People offer words of comfort when one is going through a time of betrayal.  Among the words offered is the statement that Jesus will never leave us; He is always with us.

Lately I have been pondering this statement and wondered what it means to me that Jesus is with me always.  Am I the only one who has wondered what does that mean – that Jesus is with me always – does it truly bring the comfort it is expected to bring?  How does knowing this change anything about the present hurtful circumstances?

In a world where relationships can end and bodies can break down it does mean something to me that there is one person I can count on.  One person who never breaks a promise, who never leaves just because I didn’t do something good enough, right enough, long enough, someone who never lies to me, never betrays me, never stops loving me.  In fact, that means the world to me.  My body may betray me, but He won’t.  My doctors may not hear me, but He does.  And I don’t have to do anything good enough, right enough, long enough to earn that.  His life, His love, His hand, His ear, His heart, His presence are given to me.  And you.  Freely.

He loves us faithfully and He has chosen to be with us always, always, always.  Does that comfort me during present hurtful circumstances?  Indeed it does. He understands betrayal.  He was betrayed.  He knows the pain of loving someone who didn’t love back, He knows the pain of a body that is beaten because He’s been there, done that.  For you and for me, because of His great love for us.

Jesus, my comforter, my friend, my constant companion, thank You.  Thank You for not turning away from me, for not leaving me alone and helpless and hurting.  Thank You for understanding my pain because You experienced pain on the cross for me that I may be healed.  Thank You that when no one else and nothing else can take this pain from me that You are willing and able.  I trust You with my healing and Your timing.  Amen.