By: Tim Sader
I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm. (Psalm 55:8)
The next home improvement project that couldn’t wait to be done was our master bathroom remodel so that we could more easily access it. God is always molding our lives into the image of who he created us be. It’s no mistake Jesus was a carpenter because He is in the business of remodeling our lives. A couple days after this project was finished a major tropical system blew into the Charleston area. It wasn’t a hurricane or anything named but it was full of moisture and wasn’t moving away from the tri-county area. In four days this storm dumped up to 28 inches of rain in some places. It caused catastrophic flooding downtown, along the rivers edges and in low-lying neighborhoods. The flooding was so bad it washed away roads, closed down parts of the interstate and caused some bridges to fail. In Columbia the same storm system was too much for a dam to hold, it failed putting neighborhoods completely under water and drainage was backed up so waters subsided very slowly. After about a day of constant rain we started hearing reports of flooding and knew there would be even more rain. On day two they started opening shelters on higher ground so displaced people could go there if they were in flood prone areas. At this point stress levels at our house were quite high. We were thinking great we just got settled here but waters were encroaching on us and how would we escape flash flooding with our wheelchairs. There was no water coming up to our door just inches off the ground but the street was flowing like a river and the water run off ditch behind our fence was filling fast. We thought should I stay or should I go but leaving home to stay at a shelter is no easy task so we didn’t want to leave. In the middle of all this was my 26th birthday and I couldn’t even leave the house to celebrate. I was just fine with this because I was inside, staying dry with my wife beside me and she is my special gift. Finally the next day the rain stopped and we were able to sit on the front patio and watch the sun set together.
During this storm I cannot stress enough how upsetting it was for the three of us. Sammy doesn’t do well with storms because when she was about three her family stayed during hurricane Hugo so rain and wind triggers her PTSD. Also she has Cerebral Palsy which gives her an over active startle reflex so sudden noises, flashes, gusts of wind or pounding rain makes her jump and have painful spasms. After four days of this her body was spent and she could get some relief. My mom who helps us was worried that something would happen suddenly and there was no way she could rescue us all. She felt it was better to go to a shelter than be stuck underwater. This was very true and had the water raised faster or I saw any sign this was going to happened I’d have gladly left. Since we just got settled at home and I felt somewhat at peace in this storm I was adamant about not leaving. My faith where weather is concerned is pretty confident in what God can do. I have rarely missed an appointment because of rainy weather. When I speak to the weather and tell it to change at least 75 percent of the time it happens. I don’t know why this is but it always reminds me of when Jesus calmed the storm and rebuked the disciples for their lack of faith (Mt 8:24-26). During this storm when the house was upset or when I felt myself starting to worry I would pray or speak to the storm. Though I didn’t want to seek physical shelter I hurried to find shelter in the Lord who kept us safe from this tempest. I prayed that a wall surround our house keeping flood waters out like when God stopped the Jordan River so the priests could carry the ark across on dry land (Jo 3:15-16). God said He is a shelter from the heat, a refuge from the storm and rain (Is 4:6). If we say He is our refuge than He will be our dwelling and no harm or disaster will come near our residence (Ps 91:9-10). This storm came suddenly upon us and there was no plan in place for us to leave so we trusted God and no harm came near us. In every major weather event it is good to make wise choices and listen to the experts so staying isn’t always wise but when storms come upon us God will provide adequate shelter to us.
Lord I ask that you increase our faith and take away the fear I feel when I face any kind of storm in this life. Help us to trust you that when flood waters rise and life rages around us that you are not afraid and will keep us afloat. I ask that you would stop those winds and rain by surrounding us with invisible walls of protection and a shelter to cover our heads so no harm or disaster may overtake us. Lord I pray for those who have been overcome by tragic circumstances and or prayed for safety but seemed to find none. Show us God that you are there and that you always have been in spite of the outcome of living in a fallen world. In Jesus Name, Amen
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