As I sit here by the light of my oil lantern, I am reminded of my childhood. When the lights would go out, my mom would light the lantern and that light would fill the whole room. As a kid, it was kind of exciting to have a house without electricity…at least for a little while. It was like an adventure – something completely new…sleeping bags and all. As an adult, it’s not as fun as I remember it. Today, I sit here without electricity by that same oil lantern – flickering and filling the room with valuable light. But, today I think about the storm that is raging outside. I think of the groceries in my refrigerator and freezer that will go bad in a few hours if the electricity doesn’t come back on. I think of the damage that is happening as the hurricane sweeps over our land. I see the spot on my ceiling indicating that I have a leak in my roof. I am reminded of many of my church members that are alone, in the dark, without family. I am reminded of those who are experiencing flooding in their homes and all of their belongings being destroyed. And I sit here helpless. I can’t do anything about any of it. The excitement of an adventure of my childhood has become a nightmare of my adulthood.
As I sit here by the flicker of the light, I am reminded that God is still in control. In my fears, in my worries, in my disappointments…God is still God. As I sit here, I realize that the things of this world are always fleeting…they are always wasting away. Nothing is forever that is material. My home, my belongings, my yard, my cars…all wasting away. The storm doesn’t change that. The storm does remind me that the one thing that doesn’t change is God’s love for me. He is still watching over me. He is still providing for those scared church members. He is with those who are working in these dangerous conditions. Where I am at a loss, God is not. There are no surprises to HIM. So, tonight, as I put out the light that I have remembered since childhood, I do so to rest knowing that God’s got this. I may not understand it. I may not be able to fix it. I may be without the material things that I have come to find comfort in. But, in all of that, God has not left me. He does understand it. He is able to fix it. And, he reminds me that just like he provides for the sparrows, he provides for me. Tonight, I lay my head down peacefully – even in the midst of the storm – hearing HIM say, “My Peace I give to you…not as the world gives…do not let your hearts be troubled…do not let them be afraid. (John 14)”