So much is unsettled in the world. Texas will be feeling the effects from Hurricane Harvey for a long time to come. Hurricane Irma will soon be bearing down on the state of Florida, where many of my friends are seriously stuck. The eastern coastline is at risk. I live in Upstate, SC, and our home is at risk if this storm decides to stay on its current track and bear down on us. In the western United States, wildfires are threatening many areas. Where my sister-in-law and brother-in-law live, smoke and ash have rained down on them. Air quality is highly threatened. And on top of all of that is crazy North Korea who is set to test a ballistics missile that will fly over Japan and land somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, all in preparations for whatever nuclear war they are trying to perpetuate.
So there are these huge, catastrophic events filling our minds and challenging our steadfastness of trust. I don’t know what it’s like to lose my home to a tragedy like a hurricane or tornado, but those events don’t seem too far fetched in the near future. Then there are these storms that rage in our minds. Will my special needs child ever be able to live independently? Why won’t she even try to learn? Autism is like a tick that sucks the blood and the life right out of you as you try and you try to find therapy and help that your child needs only to find that she is too old to receive the services she so desperately needs. It’s not like she chose to live in a group home with house parents who didn’t care and didn’t fight for her. It wasn’t her choice to be born to a mother who had no clue as to how to support and provide for her family so instead she sold herself and her children just to survive. Is that even survival?
As the tears have come in enormous waves this week as my husband and I grieve the loss of our selfish plans for one of our children, we find ourselves feeling hollow. Despair. Mourning what could have been. Then dragging ourselves up each morning, because life just doesn’t stop when you’re at your lowest. Maybe the victims of the hurricanes can relate to this kind of hopelessness. Yes?
You see, I don’t think it matters if you’re facing an external or internal catastrophe, the faith needed to overcome is the same. During a storm, you may not be able to see 2 inches in front of you, and when you’re in despair for your child or any other situation, you’re also unable to see. The Bible tells me He is faithful, so by faith, I believe it. I can’t see it right now. But this trust is the only thing holding me steady. The tendency here is to curl up into a ball and allow fear to paralyze. I’ve been there this week! But fear cannot live where there is assurance of my identity in Christ. 1 John 3:1-3 tells me who I am:
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason that the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure. (ESV) [emphasis added]
If He is my dad, and I am His daughter, what can the world or the threat of a storm, or war, or tribulation do to me? No matter what the storm is, whether it be mental/emotional or a physical hurricane threatening your life and livelihood, we MUST remember that “the waves and wind still know His Name.” A friend, who ironically does disaster relief and will be on the frontlines when Irma hits, had a piece of art made for me with this phrase. So hold onto it tightly. Trust in His steadfast love and affection. Meditate on His kindness and peace. And when the dust settles and the storm has passed, look back and revel in the fact that He has never left you and will never do so.
Peace be still.