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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

When The Storms Of Life Are Raging

When I preached in Livingston, Alabama, Selman Falls would often lead us in
singing the song, "He Will Hide Me." This M.E. Servoss hymn was in the
Songs of the Church hymnal. Servoss, a woman from Chicago ("Mary
Elizabeth"), was a prolific hymn writer. This was maybe her most notable
hymn. Perhaps no imagery is more graphic in scripture than depicting
troubles as a storm (cf. Psalm 55:8; Proverbs 1:27; Isaiah 25:4-5; 1 Timothy
1:19; etc.). Storms are frightening and damaging. I sat in a hallway with
my head in my lap in Junior High in Franklin, Georgia, during a tornado and
my family and I rode out a hurricane in Virginia in 2003. The unknown of
what the storm will do adds to its ferocity.

I read David McCullough's Johnstown Flood, about the torrential rains that
broke the Little Fork dam and unleashed a calamity of its kind unmatched in
modern, U.S. History. People were completely swept away, crushed by debris,
drowned, and even burned to death. The storms of that late May day in 1889
cost 2,209 people their lives. McCullough tells about Victor Heiser's
incredible survival in this flood. He climbed into a barn just before the
powerful waters blew through the property and he watched the family house
(in which his parents were) instantly demolished. The barn was carried
downstream in such a way that it barely missed whole houses, freight train
cars, barns, and the like before the then sixteen year old Heiser found
refuge with nineteen others in the attic of a two-story brick house
commandeered by the flood. Along the way, he witnessed the deaths of
several not so blessed as he. Heiser made the most of the blessing. He
grew up, became a doctor, and it is estimated that he saved as many as two
million lives through the development of the first effective treatment
against leprosy. He died at the age of 99 in 1972.
Most storm survivors are not as acclaimed and famous as Victor Heiser. So
many have taken hold of the hand which calms the storms and have enjoyed the
Lord's guidance as they weathered their own storms of tragedy, trouble, and
transgression. They reached their end, many of them having aided others to
escape through Christ! Spurgeon and a friend saw a weather vane upon which
were written the words, "God is love." The friend objected, saying, "God's
love is not so fickle and transient. That vane is not correct." To which
Spurgeon replied, "No, friend, you have misunderstood its meaning. It is
correct. It suggests that God is love, which ever way the wind blows."

Donna Dungan, a wonderful Christian lady who has lived along the Gulf Coast
where many fierce storms have blown, wrote a poem to comfort a friend
suffering from an unknown virus that eventually took her life. Her
beautiful words may bring you comfort as you deal with your storms. I close
with it.

Though a fierce storm is raging about you

And you fear there is nothing you can do

There's a place in your heart where He meets you

And in the eye of the storm He carries you through

Don't let go, don't try to leave the eye, or the storm will take you in

Nothing will overtake you while you are holding on to Him

There is a place of peace and rest that is safe from the battles of life

A place in your heart where He will shield you from worry and strife

Our Lord never sleeps nor slumbers while His children are in pain

He alone has the power to hold you up until you are whole again

Oh, please don't let go--just hold on

In the eye of the storm just hold on.

--Neal Pollard

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