Hurricane season in 2021 began in June and is forecast to end on November 30th. Living on the coastal waters of the Outer Banks in North Carolina, I pay attention to this. We continue to have ”red flag days,” where swimming is prohibited due to dangerous surf conditions brought by passing off-shore storms. The key part of that sentence is ”off-shore storms.” It is not over yet, but we are beginning to exhale just a tiny bit as the season winds down with no direct impact this year. (Please Lord, make it so.) Our friends in Louisiana took a double portion of hurricanes this year, and I know that they are also anxiously awaiting the end of hurricane season.
People in other parts of the country probably think that the worst devastation from a storm comes when it makes a direct hit on the shore. I spoke with a woman from Michigan last week who thought it would be safer to live on the sound than the beach. In truth, there can just as much devastation when the west-side sounds flood as a result of the hurricane’s ability to displace tons of water in a short amount of time. When the sound returns, it returns with a vengeance.
Today’s Psalm offers a word of comfort for those times when we feel a storm coming and we fear for our safety. Those storms can be weather-related or situational. Storms of anger, betrayal, depression, confusion, and hopelessness can feel just as damaging to your spirit as a full-on Cat 5.
The psalmist begins with beautiful praise language:
Psalm 104 (Common English Bible)
Let my whole being bless the Lord!
Lord my God, how fantastic you are!
You are clothed in glory and grandeur!
2 You wear light like a robe;
you open the skies like a curtain.
3 You build your lofty house on the waters;
you make the clouds your chariot,
going around on the wings of the wind.
4 You make the winds your messengers;
you make fire and flame your ministers.
5 You established the earth on its foundations
so that it will never ever fall.
Let the image of God wearing light like a robe and going around in a chariot of clouds sit with you for a moment. Isn’t that beautiful? Breathe it in.
6 You covered it with the watery deep like a piece of clothing;
the waters were higher than the mountains!
7 But at your rebuke they ran away;
they fled in fear at the sound of your thunder.
8 They flowed over the mountains,
streaming down the valleys
to the place you established for them.
9 You set a boundary they cannot cross
so they’ll never again cover the earth.
This is where I find comfort. God set a boundary for the waters that they cannot cross, so they’ll never again cover the earth. Even when the worst storm is raging, God is still in control. Even when the winds of change are assaulting us and the waters of despair are rising, God is still in control. Even when the husband leaves, the baby gets sick, the business fails, the job is lost, the parent dies … even then, God is still in control.
I hope this brings you comfort today. God has set a boundary around your life and has wrapped you in a robe of eternity. The resurrection guarantees that no storm can permanently harm you, even when you are in the midst of one and it feels like there is no way out.
There is. His name is Jesus.