This morning dawned through clouds from the outskirts of a hurricane. Going to bed last night, we didn't know for sure how this hurricane might affect us in Southeast Texas. With a Category 4 hurricane of 150mph winds, the path makes all the difference - and we were watching closely. To our relief, my family ended up being just west of any potentially damaging winds.
As I write this, Hurricane Laura is still a nightmare for so many. Some will awake this morning (if they slept at all) wondering if their home will be whole when they return. Some endured a night of fear as the winds threatened to crush the walls around them. Some are still facing the threat of hurricane- and tropical-storm-force winds farther inland. Many have weeks, if not months, of recovery efforts ahead of them.
After a wakeful, watchful night, (early) this morning, I turned a lamp on, keenly aware of the fact that I still had power, and brewed a fresh cup of coffee, keenly aware and thankful that I didn't have to drink the slightly-less-fresh coffee in the thermos I prepared the night before 'just in case'. Then I sat in my air-conditioned living room, and just happened to open my Bible to Psalm 135:
"For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven, and on earth, in the seas and all the deeps. He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth, who makes lightning for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses."
This year more than any, we have been constantly reminded how very little we actually control. This tends to make us fretful because we have feigned for so long that we are in full control. We don't really mean to be so self-assured, but when comforts and security are in plenty, we feel an undue confidence in ourselves and in the material things which make us feel comfortable and secure.
When our world and thus our misplaced confidence is shaken, what a grace it is to be reminded that our true security can only be found in the One who is in full control. He knows that we can never be truly secure relying on worldly, temporal things with which there is no certainty.
You may be thinking that it's easy for me to say that, from the perspective of a 'close call' with the untouched comforts I enjoy this morning. But I think God deliberates the positions within the storm and outside the storm alike - and for a purpose. Perhaps it's for the encouragement of those who are so immersed in darkness, they can't find their footing. Maybe they are so overwhelmed with the world's troubles, they can't fathom adopting a perspective of peace and finding security amidst turmoil. Perhaps it's to prepare our own minds for storms He knows are forthcoming.
His wisdom and reason is far beyond ours. We don't need to see or understand his Hand -- We know it is working. And, though he is mighty, powerful, omnipotent... He is GOOD, and fully worthy of our trust and confidence.
"Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.' 'Ooh', said Susan. "I'd thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion"..."Safe?" said Mr Beaver ..."Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."
This is the comfort and security my soul needs.
This is where I want to take refuge.
No matter what this world brings, this Rock will not be shaken. No matter how scary the storm, the One who "brings forth the wind from his storehouses" is GOOD, and He knows our deepest needs.
Though I do hope and pray for physical needs and comforts to be restored, knowing that
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."
And though I pray for protection from wildfires, for assurance amidst medical uncertainties, and peace amidst political tyranny, I also pray that those who have found their world shaken in the storm will find their sure footing and security in Him.
"Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable."