Summary: A comparative: the affliction of Hurricane Andrew, lost love and broken hearts (Thanking God for placing things in perspective that there is no great affliction or small affliction that we hold in our hearts that is too much for God's love to deal with, i
Trying Times -Hurricane Andrew
Dr. Gale A. Ragan-Reid (5/29/2013, 6/1/2013)
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you, Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts, ye double-minded (James 4:8, King James Version (KJV), [Patience in afflictions])”.
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me (John 14:1, KJV [Christ promiseth the Holy Ghost])”. In times like these, it is not God, who fails to deliver on demand yet it is God, who man fails. More importantly, when we find ourselves in the midst of the storm with no where to go and all the doors that we thought we might enter surely doomed to destruction, it is our test of faith to know God loves us and HE will always walk with us and stay with us while we are in the storm. Who was the fourth man in the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? (Daniel 3:21, 25-30, KJV [Nebuchadnezzar's decree]) (Jehovah-Shalom: The LORD is my peace. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3, KJV [Exhortation to confidence in God]).
I was in the darkness of a storm – Hurricane Andrew. “The chastisement of our peace was upon me” just as “the chastisement of our peace was upon Him”, Christ Jesus, when he walked up to Calvary carrying the cross that he'd hang on. The Prophet Isaiah said, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5, KJV). How many of us can say, “I was in the chastisement of our peace when I went to jail?” How many can say they were there in the darkness of the chastisement in prison? How many can say they were there in the abyss of blackness when they were hungry? How many went down to the murky depths of darkness when they were thirsty - heartbroken, broke with no money to their name, in a bank or otherwise, lost in the world and could not find their way back home, in the midst of strangers – homeless, without a sound mind – insane, given to fits of rage or wandering in fantasy, hardhearted or blackhearted with no love in them, without Christ Jesus as their Lord and Saviour?
As I said, I stared into the pitch blackness of Hurricane Andrew when it took my roof off and all the rafters, nothing left, not even enough to hook a tarp to, after the storm. I took my two babies, in my arms, hoisted them up on each hip and carried them down the stairs, feeling my way with each step, touching the back of my heel to each step so I wouldn't fall. I looked up into the darkness of the pitch blackness thinking the sky would lend light but the stars were not twinkling. I know they were there but the blackness covered them and didn't let them in – only the rage of the storm.
My children and I made it downstairs to the light. The downstairs bathroom was not black as the night that covered me. We went inside the closet under the stairs, into the vault, inside the closet, under the stairs and rested on the bench that used to store boxes of confidential documents. Now, we were there, fighting for our lives, sitting on the benches, in the calm of the downstairs living area where the storm did not enter in.
My sons and I left the storm upstairs in the bedrooms area. Christ made the downstairs, of our home, our refuge. If, it were not for the blood of Jesus, then, would the downstairs have remained safe and secure? Just like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. It was not, State Farm, for us, it was Allstate, it was not Allstate but our neighbor and his son, who came out when the rage of the storm lifted up and passed over.
The eye of the storm brought back peace and we were no longer in the chastisement of our peace. Our neighbors came over and refused to let us stay alone and fight alone. We left our home and went to their home. Somehow, just being with others, when the peace of the eye passed over, the rage did not seem as menacingly terrifying to us. I think I reached the calm of peace in my spirit for the rage of that storm – Hurricane Andrew shook me from the inside out and I trembled inside my body for many months after it was all said and done until one day the trembling inside, left and I truly found the peace of Christ back inside my spirit and flesh after a trying time.