Saturday, April 16th, 2011, many people spent part of the day sitting in interior hallways, bathtubs, and closets, while a super cell thunderstorm roared overhead. The storm was tracked at speeds of 50 to 75 miles per hour as it raced across North Carolina, spawning tornado after tornado, and causing at least 20 fatalities. According to CNN, there were at least 90 tornadoes associated with this one storm system. Storms of this magnitude aren’t normal for our area. The average amount of ground covered by a tornado when it touches down in North Carolina is 3 to 5 miles. The EF3 category tornadoes that ripped through our state last week left paths of destruction 30 to 80 miles long.
The next morning, many were glued to their televisions, in awe of the destruction, aspictures and videos of the storm’s devastation rolled across the screen. News crews interviewed a large number of people across the state. Many expressed fear, shock, and confusion.
Storms can be very scary. Sometimes, it seems like everything is crashing around you. You don’t always know what to do, where to turn, or what to think. Just as many sought refuge in hallways, bathtubs and closets, when the earthly storm came through, we should also seek refuge in God when the emotional storms of life blow through. God is always there for us-always ready to shelter us from the storm. He is always there to hold our hand, to guide us, and to lift us up.
Storms, tornadoes and hurricanes are a part of life. Their power is to be feared. However, as powerful as storms are, we need to remember our Heavenly Father is much more powerful. He does not promise to give us protection from the storm, but rather His presence in the midst of the storm.
There is wonderful old hymn by Mosie Lister, “Til The Storm Passes By”, that comes to mind during tough times. One line of the chorus beautifully illustrates what our prayer should be, and what we should do during the storms of our lives. .”Hold me fast, let stand in the hollow of Thy hand, keep me safe til the storm passes by.” As Mr. Lister so eloquently wrote, we need to go to our Heavenly Father for the protection and guidance only He can provide.
We can trust Him during the storms of life because every storm we experience, Jesus also experienced. He endured the biggest of all storms when He went to the cross for us. Through the horror of the crucifixion, God unveiled His power to forgive sins, restore righteousness, and heal broken lives and broken relationships. Through His resurrection He revealed power to reconcile a rebellious, selfish humanity to its creator, and set mankind free from the fear of death. There is no power greater than this.
Today, Thursday, April 21, 2011, is Maundy Thursday of Holy Week. Tomorrow is Good Friday, and Christians the world over, will remember the crucifixion of Jesus. This coming Sunday is Easter, and we will focus on the resurrection, the visible demonstration of how God’s grace and power broke the chains of bondage, sin and death, and set men and women free.
No other event has changed the course of human history more than the death and resurrection of Jesus! What a wonderful display of God’s power! However, not everyone sees it. As Paul said, “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18 NASB)
Have you experienced the power of the cross? Do you have Jesus to turn to when the storms blow through your life? Or, like many others, are you still hiding in a closet hoping for the best? Do you know the forgiveness, restoration and reconciliation provided for you through the first Easter–the amazing salvation only Jesus can give? Turn to Jesus, and let His awesome power fill your life!