Published September 12, 2017

Paul's Epistle
"God Of The Storms"

The headlines these days breathlessly convey the news of devastating natural disasters:

The news is certainly capturing everyone's attention. And for those in affected areas, it's a life-changing, even life-and-death situation.

What's going on here? Wind. Rain. Earthquake. Wait – this has happened before...

In 1 Kings 19, Elijah the prophet had a visit from the Lord. As Elijah looked on, "...a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire" (vss 11-12).

But what came next? "...after the fire came a gentle whisper." It was then that the Lord spoke to Elijah – encouraging the prophet, reminding him that he was not alone, the Lord was with him.

"Storms" of many kinds come into our lives all the time. And storms that have nothing to do with natural phenomena, devastating as those are, can be just as debilitating. The loss of a spouse. The loss of a job. The loss of a family member. A devastating physical illness or other tragedy.

Shhhhh... Listen.  The storm may be raging. But this is when the Lord speaks to us – if we will notice – with words of comfort and reassurance. The hard times, if we allow Him to do so, is when the Lord gets our attention so He can direct our paths – if we will acknowledge Him (Proverbs 3:6). Even the TV news has recently shown many storm survivors saying, "Praise the Lord!" (That's something you don't see much on the news.)

One of the most timely songs to come along in some time is "God Of The Storms," sung by Tribute Quartet and penned by Gerald Crabb and the late Savana Foust. The first verse says,

     It's a blessed assurance knowing somebody cares
     When the storms of life rage, casting fear and despair
     When the winds of confusion have gone all night long
     I take shelter and rest with the God of the storm.

Then the chorus reminds us further about how all of this impacts us as Christians...

     His voice calms the thunder, His whisper brings peace
     Troubled waters of danger set a stage for His feet.
     I'm peaceful in the midst of all danger and harm,
     Beneath the safe cover of the God of the storms.1

Gary Casto of Tribute Quartet puts it this way: "So many times in this troubled life that we all live in, we walk through storms of life. Sometimes we're standing on top of the mountains. Sometimes we're walking through the valleys. But if we live long enough, we're gonna live through storms. But we serve a big God. I remember one time a long time ago I heard the phrase, ‘Stop telling God how big your storm is. Tell the storms how big your God is.' And this song simply says, ‘He's still the God of the storms.'"

Whether your "storm" is a natural disaster or something much more personal, take refuge in the "God of the storms." Watch how those "troubled waters of danger set a stage for His feet." Listen to His voice. Watch how He brings Christians together to help others. See Him at work to bring glory to Himself through the response of His people. Learn from what He's telling you. Help others to hear His voice, too.

Of those threatened by the wind and the waves, Psalm 107 says,

     Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble,
     And He brings them out of their distresses.
     He calms the storm, so that its waves are still.
     Then they are glad because they are quiet;
     So He guides them to their desired haven.
     Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
     And for His wonderful works to the children of men!2

God protected Elijah through the wind, rain and fire, and it certainly got his attention. But it was what came next that was most important. Listen for that calming voice of the Lord — even in the midst of the storm — reminding you that you are not alone, He is with you, no matter what. Then – as always – give Him praise from a thankful heart, "for His mercy endures forever."3

Did the Lord get your attention?

- Paul

1. First verse and chorus of "God Of The Storms," by Gerald Crabb and Savana Foust, Christian Taylor Music BMI and Winding Way Music ASCAP, as sung by Tribute Quartet on their "Here For You" CD. Lyrics quoted by permission.
2. From verses 28-31.
3. From Psalm 107:1 and numerous other verses.

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