This morning as I was preparing to rise and begin my time of reflection, meditating on the Verse of the Day, I realized that it had been raining steadily for several hours. I later learned that the weather forecast for this region included severe thunderstorm warnings that could result in heavy rain, causing flash flooding.
In the midst of such “stormy weather,” I noticed that the Verse of Day for May 3, 2016 was taken from Romans 12:12 (KJV):
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
This particular verse was used as an epigraph or introduction to one of the poems inspired by a teaching series related to “the storms of life.” Following the events connected to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, my sister, who lives in Atlanta, sent me three messages by her pastor, Dr. Aaron Parker, who spoke of storms as part of the cycle of life. He mentioned that, as believers, we are either in the midst of a storm or coming out of a storm and preparing to go through yet another storm.
In response to the first teaching in the series comes
This Ever-present Truth
For He commands and raises the stormy wind,
which lifts up the waves of the sea.
They mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths;
Their soul melts because of trouble.
He calms the storm, so that its waves are still.
Then they are glad because they are quiet;
so He guides them to their desired haven.
Psalm 107:25-26, 29-30
As we navigate through the stages of our lives,
Mild breezes that caress our days are soon transformed
Into wild gales and floods, as one more storm arrives.
Despite this ever-present truth, we are alarmed
And unprepared for life’s torrential winds and rain,
As the raging storm center races toward our shore,
Gathering force and mounting into a hurricane.
We find ourselves near the eye of the storm once more.
The whirlwind soon passes over and leaves behind
Rising flood waters that would overwhelm the soul,
But through prayer and strong faith we know that we shall find
Courage to endure, though each storm exacts its toll.
God prepares us to go through howling gusts and rain,
With strength between storms, ready to go through again.
The second teaching was based in part on Romans 12:12, the Verse of Day, and the message inspired this response:
The Prayer Directive: Strength between Storms
Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation,
continuing steadfastly in prayer;
Romans 12:12 [NKJV]
When it seems that we have reached our outer limits
Of exhausted options and can no longer cope,
Wrestling with unbelief, our foe that inhibits,
God’s word reminds us to keep rejoicing in hope.
We know that in patience we possess our soul.
In the midst of life’s pressures, we remain secure,
Assured that in Christ Jesus, we have been made whole,
Watching and waiting with renewed strength to endure.
As stately palm trees, we yield and bend in the wind,
And pray in the spirit, with requests that never cease.
As sweet-smelling incense, our fervent prayers ascend
In greater measure, as our petitions increase.
Though storms may overwhelm, we are still in God’s care:
Therefore rejoice, be patient, continue in prayer.
We close with this musical exhortation from Casting Crowns: “Praise You in the Storm”