The Sunday Sermonette July 23 2023 “Andy, what is another word for dictionary that starts with G and has eight letters in it?” Mother asked, sitting calming in her old rocker, seemingly oblivious to the storm raging just outside our living room window.
As the green oven of July melts into the fierce eye of August, and August evokes memories of Camille and Katrina, my dear mother’s words whisper down the misty corridors of my mind. For those of us who’ve lived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast all our lives, we know that August and September are ripe months for hurricanes. However, we can conjure other storms too, ones of our own making, that are teaming with the screeching winds of anxiety, the rising waters of worry, and the torrential rains of fear.
When the emotional storms of life inundate us, they can make us feel as if we’re losing control. That our lives are controlling us and not the other way around. Anxiety can stifle a desire to move from the problems of the past to the promises of the future. Worry saps our mental and physical strength. Fear can clutch our throats, strangling our desire to live.
At the height of Katrina, as the pouncing wind screamed and the piercing rain drenched, Mother and I were hunkered down in our little house. I felt as if I’d made a huge mistake by not evacuating as we’d been instructed. But Mother had already told me that she was not going anywhere. We had survived hurricanes Betsy, Camille, Frederick, Georges, and Elena in our house, she stated, and there we would weather out Katrina.
I was anxious, worried, and fearful that we would not survive. And then, I looked at my dear mother, peacefully working on one of her beloved crossword puzzles. She quietly, calmly set rocking in her old chair by the window. “Mom, aren’t you frightened,” I asked. She looked at me with loving azure-blue eyes and, with an inner calmness, said, “Andy, if it’s our time, it’s our time. If not, God will protect us. We’re gonna be okay.”
I smiled at my dear mother, drew in a deep breath, and looked out the window once again. I silently prayed: “Lord, forgive my fear and worry. My doubts, too. You are the one that’s in control. You can quiet this storm and all the storms of life. Please protect us. In thy name, Amen.”
When life’s storms come crashing in around you, put your trust in God. He will guide and direct you and calm your fears. Know that He’s in control and will safely take you through the storm.
Ponder this and go forth.