Created Storms

Carl was exhausted the day the children left. For eight days he had been totally engaged with the young children and the three small dogs that had come to live with us during Hurricane Florence. Several times, his patience ran out and he had let out a growl to let everyone know that he had had enough.IMG_4212

Thankfully, our grandchildren’s house regained power after a week of being plummeted with strong winds and rain. Several large trees had fallen and there was debris everywhere.  But with minor damage to the house, the children were able to go back to some sort of normalcy.

In times of great storms like Florence, we all come to wonder why God allows these catastrophes to occur. We will never completely understand why but we can get a glimpse of his reasoning through the scriptures, particularly in the story of Jesus walking on the water.

Mark 6:45-51 states: “Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.  After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.

Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land.  He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified.

Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”  Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down.”

Note that Jesus made his disciples get in the boat. He knew what was going to occur but instead of preventing the storm, he created it. How often do we think God is working when our lives are without troubles? So often when the storms come in our lives, we ask where God is. From this story, it is clear where Jesus was. He was praying for his disciples in the mountains. When our lives are rocked by storms, instead of wondering where Jesus is, we need to remember that he is interceding for us before the Father.

Carl couldn’t understand why he was being faced with his own particular storm. Days of having his own personal space stripped from him made him irritable and out of sorts. But once the storm passed, he returned to being content once more.

“Dear Lord, please help me to have comfort knowing that you are praying for me when I am in the midst of my storms.”


Closer to the Storm

A lot can happen in 48 hours. The clouds have gotten heavy and the winds have started to blow. Instead of being alone though, Carl now has four other dogs and a cat to keep him company. Four children are making our house their home, and my son in law and his mother are hunkering down to ride out the hurricane.IMG_4192

Carl seems happy to have so much attention and is enjoying this time without a clue of the reason for the onslaught of humans and canines. The television is on more than usual and everyone is praying that Florence will not create the devastation that the forecasters are calling for.

There must be countless numbers of other families that are feeling the impact of this storm even before it has made landfall. People who are headed west without a clear destination. Others that have settled in with family or friends that ordinarily they would never consider spending a night with.

God is good and good all the time. He is sovereign and even though no one can understand the reason for the devastation that is getting ready to take place, we must put our trust in His will for our lives. I know for me, there are many lessons that I am in the midst of learning. IMG_4168

“Lord, please help all of us, particularly me, to see your goodness through the storms of our lives.”


The Price of a Peaceful Heart

If I just didn’t love Carl and Bee so much.  But the truth is our little dogs are our “babies”.  With the approaching hurricane, my husband and I had to make an extremely difficult decision. Instead of going to Puerto Rico for several days with my daughter whom we haven’t seen in many months, we canceled our trip. IMG_2358

Carl and Bee have a difficult enough time when we are gone for several hours but if we got stranded away, they could definitely be traumatized.  So, with heavy hearts we are going to stay home where we will be with our dogs as Florence makes its way over us.

To make life even more interesting for us as we go through hurricane force winds, our four grandchildren will be joining us for the ride. Given that my other daughter is an EMS worker in Wilmington, it just made sense that they be evacuated.

The hurricane isn’t supposed to arrive until Thursday but our little ones will be coming tomorrow afternoon. So instead of a quiet vacation on the island of Puerto Rico, we will create our own island as the waters approach Durham, North Carolina.

Carl has no idea of the sacrifice we will be making by staying home, but that is okay. Peace in my heart is much more valuable than a drink with an umbrella and time on the beach.

Lord, I know you will be with us as we go through this storm. Just as your Son tamed the winds and waves, I believe You can give us a peace during the days and weeks to come.