Hope in Trouble

“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
 Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”

Psalm 9:9-10

In light of the recent tornadoes that swept through Oklahoma, Ohio, and Indiana, it bears the question, “Where is God in the storms”? I could give you the theologically correct answers but that doesn’t necessarily bring comfort. What does bring comfort is knowing that God is present in the storm.

Recall if you will when Jesus and His disciples were traveling in a boat and “there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship”. His words were what calmed the storm. He rebuked the wind, and spoke to the sea “Peace, be still”. Or you may recall Jonah who was trying to escape God’s command to go to Nineveh; in this case the Lord sent the storm (Jonah 1:1). In these examples we see a storm that arose seemingly out of nowhere and in the other, a storm that God Himself sent to persuade a reluctant servant to do what He wanted Him to do. Notice in both examples, God was present. In the case of the disciples He was there when they cried out to Him. In the case of Jonah, He caused the storm to encourage obedience from Jonah.

So you may ask the question, “Is God teaching me to cry out to Him”, or “Have I been reluctant to acknowledge His power and I’m running from Him”?

I have the humble privilege of knowing a number of people who live in the areas of Ohio that were hit by the devastating tornadoes. They are people with tremendous faith and confidence in God. What makes my heart glad is not one of them has asked the question “Why”. I believe that they understand that we live in a fallen world where there is a need to depend on God. This storm is a reminder that we are not in control and that our lives can change in a moments notice. Such understanding hopefully teaches us to cherish each and every moment God has given us and to appreciate the people that have been placed in our lives. That’s the good thing about storms, it changes our focus from what we can see to what we can be, the hands and feet of Christ lifting each other up in whatever ways we can and bringing hope in seemingly hopeless situations.

May our hope and confidence in God never be shaken!

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]

 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Psalm 46:1-7