Ps 57:1 For my soul trusts in you; And in the shadow of your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed.
Storms can be wonderful and terrible things. They bring rain to water crops and trees, yet they can cause so much destruction. Early yesterday morning at 2 am, I was woken suddenly when my husband bolted out of bed and uttered the four words I fear the most during a thunderstorm.
The power is out.
Our house has had its share of flooding over the years, and immediately my mind rushed to the condition of our basement. How long had the power been out? Would I step into a puddle at the bottom of the stairs, and how much of a mess would I have to clean in the morning?
Yet my husband offered reassuring words – “I’ll take care of it. You go back to sleep.”
I tried, but as the wind howled and the rain splattered against the window, my heart filled with panic. I couldn’t sleep. I needed to help. So up I rose from bed and made my way through the thick darkness to the hall closet. I fumbled blindly on the top shelf for a flashlight and almost laughed with my fingers wrapped around a cylinder of cold, smooth metal. One click bathed the hallway in bluish light and as fast as my legs could carry me without waking my children, I hurried down the stairs into the basement.
I paused at the second to last step and swallowed, then took the last step.
Exhaling, I made my way around the rec room, picking up the two dozen stuffed animals that my daughter had left scattered on the floor. When the floor was clear, I turned my attention to the laundry room. There, in the corner by the sump pump, my husband knelt on the cold concrete floor, filling two large orange Home Depot buckets with water from the sump well. I grabbed one, ran to the other side of the room, dumped it in the laundry basin, and got the other one to empty it as well.
This continued for 45 minutes until the rain stopped.
Our power came back at 7:30, and after some much needed rest, I ventured out to take our dog for a walk and see how much damage the storm had done.
It wasn’t pretty.
Branches littered the street, some so large they blocked half the road. A pine tree at my daughter’s school had crashed over a power line. A large branch from a weeping willow tree had fallen onto the roof of a house. Trees lay across sidewalks while homeowners stood, their mouths agape in horror.
It’s easy to worry during storms. They can be so destructive, and the storm that passed through early yesterday morning didn’t even contain a single tornado – just straight line winds. There have been countless other catastrophes that have been much more devastating – tornadoes leveling towns, hurricanes flooding entire cities.
Yet God calls us to trust him in the midst of all of the storms we face, whether they be literal or figurative. He is always there, maybe not to calm the storm as Jesus did with his disciples, but to calm our hearts and offer hope that all will be well when the storm is over. Then, when the storms have passed and we are left to deal with the aftermath, we do what I saw so many doing on my walk yesterday morning.
We work together. We talk. We share stories. We offer a comforting shoulder, a helping hand, and a caring heart.
We are the calm in the storm.
And bit by bit, we pick up the pieces, guided by our faith and God’s love for us.
So, whether you are cleaning up from a literal storm or crying through a storm of the heart, remember that through it all, God is always with you.
Even when you’re sitting in a basement, bailing out a sump pump well at 3 am.