It’s been a while since we had to deal with a hurricane. That’s a good thing, and getting almost through September this year, it seemed like we might not have to. But alas, Ian kind of messed with all of us in some form or another. Hurricanes have a way of doing that to us.
For Janice and I, the storm simply brought our granddaughter to our home. That worked out great! We are grateful to be able to have a place where they could come and escape the passing storm, if not its effects.
In my prayer time this morning I was reminded of an experience of hurricane preparedness from several years ago. We had shuttered the church (which had accordion shutters – not a big deal), and we had shuttered the parsonage (which had big steel
panels – that was a bigger deal), and were now ready to help others. The church’s sexton was an older gentleman who lived with his wife in a very modest home with no shutters. Some guys from the church had managed to get plywood, which back then didn’t cost its weight in gold, and the hardware necessary to attach them to his house.
Generally, as a storm approaches, it starts to rain. And then it doesn’t. And then it pours. And then it doesn’t. And early in the morning as I drove to join the folks who had committed to put up shutters, I saw a rainbow in the clouds straight ahead of me. I thought it peculiar that a rainbow would show up before the storm. Usually they come afterwards.
But, how delightful to see it there before the storm! As you know, the rainbow was used by God to sign a covenant that he made with Noah. After the flood, after the storm, God told Noah that the rainbow he saw was a symbol of the covenant God made with Noah to never completely flood the earth again. It was a kind sign. It was meant as a gentle reminder of God’s mercy. It was meant to make us smile, and be reminded that God smiles on us.
And that happened that day. When I got to the sexton’s house, I smiled and delighted in being there with brothers and sisters committed to helping others. All under the eye of a God who smiles at His children.
I forget what the aftermath of that storm was. I don’t remember how bad it was. All I remember was that the shutters we put up actually made it through the storm and they were OK. That was rather miraculous actually—you never know how volunteer work is going to go!
As I write this, Ian has not gone by yet. I know it has already caused plenty of distress in Puerto Rico and in Cuba. I don’t know what it holds for our children’s homes. But I do know that regardless of the circumstances, regardless of the aftermath, God walks with us before the storm, during the storm and afterwards. And the promise of His mercy is there, evidenced throughout, coccasionally even before the storm in the form of a rainbow.
Grateful for the promises,
And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between Me and you and every living creature with you,
a covenant for all generations to come: I have set My rainbow in the clouds,
and it will be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. Genesis 9:12,13