Charles Albert Tindley penned these words years ago, “When the storms of life are raging, stand by me; when the storms of life are raging, stand by me. When the world is tossing me, Like a ship upon the sea; Thou who rulest wind and water, Stand by me.”
That is where I was as we began making preparations for Hurricane Sandy over the past couple of days. We took precautions for situations that just might happen. We ensured the lawn furniture would not become projectiles, that the drains were clear and that there was enough food and water to last us should we have lost power. But in the midst of the storm, God placed this song that became a prayer into my soul. It offered a moment for assessment in the busyness of life to pray. It engaged family concern to reach out and just say hi! It allowed communities to come together in preparations for the unknown strength of the soon to arrive hurricane. It made you consider making something that will last.
And so, the storm has passed us by. By all assessments, some experiences were good where power never flickered. Some were bad where power is still out or trees fell destroying property. Most importantly, it allowed me to take in the gifts of God –my family and friends and His goodness and mercy. We may have lost things in the storm, but what have we gained in the process? God wants us to be in connection and community with each other. Dr. Martin Luther King called it, the beloved community, where we are all God’s children trying to make a difference on earth as it is in heaven.
So we’ve waited for Hurricane Sandy and she showed off and took her time. There will be storms in our lives that may take their time, but our faith in God is what should last. I passed a marque of a local Presbyterian church on Sunday that read, “Hurricane Sandy is coming; so is Jesus. Will you be ready?”