Posts Tagged ‘peace in the midst of the storm’

Preparing for another storm

September 5, 2017
Hurricane_Katrina_August_28_2005_NASA

Hurricane Katrina, one of the most devastating and destructive storms in recent memory, occurred in August, 2005.

As Southeast Texas and the Gulf Coast area continue to recover from the massive devastation of Hurricane Harvey, Florida and the East Coast begin preparation for Hurricane Irma, already a Category 4 storm possibly headed toward the eastern seaboard. In thinking about this sequence of events, we recall words related to the cycle of life, whereby, as believers, we are either in the midst of a storm or coming out of one and preparing to go through another storm.  The statement was made following one of the most devastating and destructive storms in recent memory, Hurricane Katrina, occurring in 2005. During this present Hurricane season, we recognize:

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.

Although President Trump proclaimed September 3, 2017, as a National Day of Prayer for the victims of Hurricane Harvey and for our national response to that crisis, we continue to pray for our nation during this time of recovery and preparation.

We conclude with Alvin Slaughter and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir offering “Peace in the Midst of the Storm”:

Psalm 63:1 and this ever-present truth about storms

October 7, 2016

psalm_63-1

Psalm 63:1 and “this ever-present truth regarding storms”:

This morning as I reflect upon the Verse of the Day, I also think about Hurricane Matthew, the life-threatening storm that is approaching.

The Verse of the Day for October 7, 2016 is taken from Psalm 63:1 in the Message Bible:

[A David Psalm, When He Was out in the Judean Wilderness] God—you’re my God! I can’t get enough of you! I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God, traveling across dry and weary deserts.

The reference to “hunger and thirst for God” brings to mind this original psalm:

Hunger and Thirst

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst

after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Matthew 5:6

 

All those who hunger and thirst after righteousness

Shall no longer need food but shall indeed be filled.

They shall know firsthand the Father’s desire to bless:

In His presence deepest desires are fulfilled.

We learn to yearn after God and to put Him first;

He alone feeds this hollow and aching absence,

To satisfy our hunger and to quench our thirst.

Food and water appease but for a season, hence

We partake each day of first fruits of our labor.

To serve food and drink is to glimpse eternity,

A foretaste of the place where we all shall savor

Forever the pure pleasure of God’s company.

So we prepare to feast once more upon God’s Word,

As we strengthen our souls and wait upon the Lord.

Another song inspired by the David’s cry to Yahweh in Psalm 63 is written by Deanne Shallenberger and Michelle Glenn, performed by Deanne:

Not only is Psalm 63 the inspiration, in part, for that song that I composed, but it is also the basis for “My Soul Follows Hard after Thee” performed as a medley with “I’m Gonna Love You,” two classic praise and worship compositions of Don Moen of Hosanna! Music.

In addition, our thoughts and prayers extend toward the residents of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina as Hurricane Matthew, a “life-threatening storm”, barrels up the East Coast. The Category 4 hurricane is said to be the first major hurricane to hit the US since 2005. In thinking about this devastating storm, we recall the statements related to the life cycle of life, whereby, as believers, we are either in the midst of a storm or coming out of a storm and preparing to go through another storm.  We are reminded of

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.

We are comforted and strengthened by the song “Peace in the Midst of the Storm” offered by Alvin Slaughter and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.

Trouble and Anguish: Peace in the midst of the storm

November 15, 2013

psalm 119--143

The Verse of the Day for November 15, 2013 makes reference to trouble and anguish that so often overtake us, particularly in the midst the turbulent times in which we live. Many times in the midst of trouble and anguish, we cry out to God and utter this prayer, as we ask God to:

Protect Us

As children run to safety in their father’s arms,

So we, too, run to you, “our shelter from life’s storms.”

Lord, we long to dwell with you in the secret place,

Our buckler, our shield, deliverer, our fortress,

Strong tower, defender, who responds to our prayers.

For Lord, you are faithful, who will establish us

And protect us and deliver us from evil.

 

Trouble and anguish, inseparable companions that accompany the storms of life, continually confront us. I recall a statement by Dr. David Jeremiah regarding the cycles of life: that we are either in the midst of a storm, either we have just come through a storm or we are preparing to enter a new storm. This reality brings to mind this poem:

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.

 

Kim Hopper offers a moving rendition of this reminder that God gives peace in the midst of the storm: