Riding the Storm Out


A recent visit with an old childhood friend brought back memories of a devastating storm that hit Maryland in 1972. Hurricane Agnes made its way up the East Coast and ended up being the costliest hurricane to ever hit the United States up to that time. In my home state of Maryland, 19 people died and over a hundred million dollars of property damage was done. However, my memories of Hurricane Agnes center around the great fun I had in the neighborhood. With rain falling in unprecedented amounts, and seeing the effects of flooding all around us, my siblings, friends and I went outside our home to have some fun. Streams of water were now flowing everywhere, including the streets. Every street became a personal “water ride” of fun and excitement! My friend reminded me of how we rode on the crests of the heavy currents of water. There was some danger involved as you had to make sure you kept clear of the culvert pipes so as not to get sucked in and drown. I’m sure that for many, Hurricane Agnes brings back sad and tragic memories. Looking back, as a young teen, I’m sure I didn’t realize the tragedy that surrounded that storm. For me, it was simply an exciting adventure in “riding the storm out.”

Life’s storms come and go! They often leave behind devastation in the lives of those they visit. Yet, when kept in perspective and handled in the proper way, storms can provide lessons and memories that enrich the soul. There are lessons to be learned and joy to be found if we decide to “ride out the storm” with an attitude of faith. Many years ago, while serving as a church leader, a woman came to me and despondently related her troubled life. After listening to her for a while, I tried to calm her fears by telling her that everyone faced trials and challenges in this life. She responded, “Really! What are yours?” She asked because she seemed to think that my life was without trial. I guess she couldn’t understand how the hurricanes of life were devastating her family, but a person like myself seemed to be on a water ride having fun. And at the time, my family was docked in a rather calm vacation port. But within months, dark clouds began to form over my houseboat, and hurricanes with the force of Agnes rained upon it. No man lives in this life without experiencing a Hurricane Agnes from time to time!

No one wants spiritual hurricanes to come into their lives, but they will, and they do. We must make up our minds that we need to “ride it out” and make the best of it. If we don’t, we will find ourselves drowning as we are pulled into the culvert of despair and hopelessness. Recorded in Mark is this story:

“And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he (Jesus) was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:37-39)

Storms will always be on the horizon of our lives. Have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He will not let us perish! If we call on Him, as did his disciples, He will help us ride through the storms and give peace and serenity to our lives!

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