As I write this devotion, my family and I are hunkering down in our home, awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Dorian. Most of our offices are closed today to allow our HealthKeeperz families who will be impacted by the storm to finish up preparations.
Like many others, I have been watching or listening to the weather forecasts for the last five to seven days, hoping and praying that this moment would not come. And yet, it has arrived.
Dorian will mark three hurricanes within three years for us here in southeastern North Carolina. For many who have suffered past loss, the thought of another hurricane moving through our region brings no small amount of anxiety.
It is these folks, my own neighbors, I found myself thinking about as of late. As a follower of Christ and a minister of his Good News, my sincere heart's desire is that we all, but especially those who have suffered past loss, are able to find peace of mind and restfulness of heart in God our Father while we endure another storm. There is nothing inside of us that can bring peace and rest amid a hurricane. That is partly because the very nature of such a storm is to create unrest and destruction. It is a sheer force of nature that says there will be no peace, and neither will there be rest.
So, it is at this moment when we are confronted with the reality of another storm that we need the truth of God's word to penetrate our hearts and minds and wash the anxiety, fear, and doubt out into the sea of God’s grace and mercy. So for the rest of this devotion, I will administer the medicine for the soul that I have applied to myself and my family, God’s Word.
Psalms 46 reminds us that “God is our refuge and strength, a very help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear. . .” even when the hurricanes come. Wow! The Psalmist says that the place to run to for protection and shelter in times of trouble is to God, and in this running to God, we will not only be protected, but will ‘in Him’ find the strength that’s needed to weather the storm. This is why the Psalmist can so confidently say, “. . . we will not fear,” even if we are tossed about by forces that are, at least humanly speaking, unrelenting and unstoppable.
Ahh, but winds are not invincible. They must yield to the master from whose nostrils they have been blown. And the gospel of Matthew 8:26 reminds of this: Jesus says. . . “why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” And then the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”
What kind of man is He? He is the God-man, and He can calm any storm, whether it be on the Sea of Galilee or in our soul!
I will close with the apostle Paul’s thoughts from Philippians 4:6-7. “. . . do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
My friend, if you are like me, this is not merely good medicine for the hours of riding out hurricanes, but is the needed daily nutrition for hearts that can become anxious and fearful so quickly. May we rest in our, Savior who promises to “bless us and keep us.”
Yours in Christ,
Chaplain James Chavis