Oklahoma has been under siege with the terrible storms marching through that state. The storms seem to be taking the same path. Not only the tornadoes but the flooding. Repeated damage, repeated fear, loss of life, unending anxiety…
This morning I was reading Psalm 33:5. It says, “The earth is full of the loving-kindness of the Lord.” That seemed to mock me in light of all the horrible things happening: fires, floods, storms, earthquakes. How can the Psalmist state with such assurance that the earth is full of God’s loving-kindness? It would appear to be just the opposite. How do we reconcile that? Maybe we can’t.
The Psalmist reconciles it by focusing on the bigger picture: God is the creator of the heavens and all those in them. God is the one who controls all the waters of the deep. Then he writes, “Let all the earth fear the Lord”. Is that the missing ingredient? We no longer fear God. And by fear, I am not meaning fear, as to be afraid of, but fear as in awe and reverence. Do we revere God? No. We treat Him casually. We pull Him out when we need Him but most of the time we ignore Him and rarely do we look at our earth and stand in awe of the Creator.
Our God rides on those storms. He is mightier, more powerful than the storms. He is bigger. The Psalmist tells us that God looks from heaven and sees all of us and understands us. He knows what is going on. He is aware of what is happening. We are told that God is our help, our shield.
We look at devastation and see only despair. Let us lift our eyes to see God. He rides on those storms. We are told, “He makes the clouds His chariot; He walks upon the wings of the wind.” (Psalm 104:3) If we can turn our focus on to Him we are not going to have everything neat and tidy, questions answered…but we begin to see His greatness, His peace, His strength, His grace, love – even in the midst storms. How many interviews have we heard from folks that are so thankful for their protection and their family is still alive? They see God’s hand. And those that lost their lives….I grieve with them, I pray for them. I have no answers for them only an unshakable faith in the unchanging character of God who is watching, is aware, is loving. And still very much in control.
You, like me, may never have had a tornado slice through your home or town, you may not have had a Sandy wreck havoc with your community…but no doubt you have had, like me, your own personal tornado and storm that has left you stunned, bewildered, angry, hurt. Your life has been turned upside down, inside out. You are numb with grief and regret. You don’t know where to turn. We, too, can turn to God’s character and trust Him with all that doesn’t make sense. Trust Him with your anger, pain, doubt…He is big enought to handle it. He knows what has happened at your address. He cares. He loves. He will bring you through, stronger and with a far deeper relationsip with Him.
God is still on his throne. It has not been blown away. I am glad for that!