Written September 20th, 2017
Charlie and I were walking on the beach a couple months ago and we came across a dead horseshoe crab. I wanted to keep on walking but Charlie wanted to go look at it.
Is he dead mommy?
Yes, I respond.
Because he doesn’t have water.
Is he with Jesus?
Yes, Charlie, he is.
How beautiful is the faith of a child? I am not sure what you believe, but I am about to share about our belief in Jesus and how it is helping us in the middle of a storm called Hurricane Maria. I hope you will read this with an open heart and open mind even if you don’t have the same belief as us.
We have been planning this vacation for a few months. It was our 5 year anniversary in June and Mike wanted to do something special. We love going to my aunt and uncle’s house in Puerto Rico, so we decided to take a trip there. When Irma hit, we ended up cancelling the vacation the day before we were supposed to go, only to rebook a few hours later for that Saturday night/Sunday morning.
When we arrived, Maria was a Tropical Storm. Within 30 hours this tropical storm had quickly grew into the category 5 hurricane that is hitting us now.
Mike and I were talking last night, and he was saying how this is increasing his trust in God because He basically took almost everything that could be of comfort to us from us. I would have to agree with him.
The sun shall no longer light your day, nor for the brightness shall the moon give light to you by night, but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.
We tried hard to get flights out. We didn’t care how much money it would cost, and we had family offering to help. We told the customer service lady that we would fly anywhere on the east coast, and rent a car to drive home. But there was nothing. No amount of money could have gotten us out.
Then there were the other comforts. In Puerto Rico they go about storms a little differently than in the US. While in the U.S. we wait for the power to go out, in PR they gradually started shutting the power down yesterday. Our power went out at around noon, and the generator came on until we were asked to turn it off around 4pm.
And that was it. Just like that another comfort was taken. No electricity to monitor the storm, no communication to the outside world, no television for entertainment or to find out how close the storm was or when it was going to stop.
No lights. And let me tell you, I have rarely been in complete darkness. I am talking about complete darkness where your eyes don’t adjust because it is so dark. That was the middle of the night last night.
We are being held by the One who is mightier than the wind and the waves.
However, I am writing this in probably what is the worst of the storm. Although most of the windows on the floor of the house we are staying in are boarded shut, the guys left the window in the laundry room open. That is the only small view we have into the outside world right now. I have never seen anything like this. The strong wind is constant, and things are blowing sideways.
But the house has not shaken (however we are pretty sure a window upstairs broke, because we keep hearing glass breaking on the tile floor), and as the wind is howling we are in complete peace. We don’t really know what is going on outside. We hear noises and can guess that it is the pool house door opening and slamming shut, or the flower pot that we forgot to put away shattering, but we are being held by the One who is mightier than the wind and the waves.
I was standing in the kitchen by the door that is tightly shut listening to the sound of the storm earlier and I said to Mike I should be afraid, but I am not. This is coming out of the mouth of a little 5-foot 2 woman who got scared of her shadow a few weeks ago, and the one who is terrified to get on an airplane. Yet as I am sitting here writing I feel completely safe, completely at peace.
Don’t be afraid, come.
This is the power, yet gentle love of Jesus. Mightier than the raging sea, yet as peaceful as a lamb.
I believe that Jesus is the way that leads to eternal life, the truth in the confusion, and the life that flows abundance. I believe He is the Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor, and God with us. I believe He is the God of the impossible, He makes beauty from ashes, makes everything new, was born to a virgin, turned water into wine, walked on water, fed at least 5000 people with only enough food to feed my family, and is the One who died on a cross and then 3 days later rose again from the dead. He is the resurrected King.
Have you ever felt like you just can’t take anymore? There is so much pain, and so much uncertainty that if one more thing goes wrong, even the smallest thing, that you will snap? Break? Shatter? Then your life is in pieces all over the floor and you don’t know what to do. You think How do I pick up my life? Where do I begin? Overwhelming would be an understatement.
Beautiful one. The one who feels like she is carrying the world on her shoulders. The one who doesn’t feel worthy of praying. The one who feels like she is about to break. The one whose life just fell all over the place. This Jesus I believe in is there for you too.
When You walk through deep waters I will be with you.
Yes, the storm is raging, but there is a God who isn’t on His throne in heaven thinking oh man, that is terrible, I hope they are okay down there. He is in the middle of the storm with you, doing the impossible, walking on water, reaching out His hand for you, and telling you don’t be afraid, come. His burden is light, because He carried the weight of the world when He died on the cross, and then did the unexpected by keeping His word and rising again from the dead. If He can overcome His grave, He can overcome your grave and resurrect what is broken and make something beautiful.
He is already there.
I am finishing writing this before the storm is over. I have no doubts that there is already mass destruction on this beautiful island. We know that many of you have been praying for us, and we couldn’t be more grateful. Know that your prayers are powerful, and your prayers are heard.
Please also remember the people here in your prayers. It is certain that there will be a lot of loss. But there is another certainty. Emmanuel. God with us. He will be here, walking among the damage, and comforting those who lost it all, just like a mother comforts her child. He is with the woman now who is comforting her terrified child as she fights back her own tears of fear. And the man who is wondering how they will ever recover the damage that has already been done. He is right next to the person who will walk outside later and survey all the downed trees and uprooted bushes who is going to wonder where to even begin. I know He will be there, with just as much certainty that I know He is already there now.