It was 4:30 in the morning and everything stilled. No longer was rain pounding against the glass doors and windows. The winds ceased their violent shaking of the house, and we finally experienced the anticipated calm in the midst of the storm. I say, “we,” but, honestly, I was the only one awake in our vacation rental when the eye of Hurricane Arthur passed over the town of Nags Head.
Earlier that day we enjoyed the oceanfront pool at the house where twelve of my family members stayed. They became increasingly distracted from the lazy day at the beach agenda as reports rushed in on the hurricane’s strengthening. My brother and his wife vacated and returned home to Virginia once they learned of a mandatory evacuation of Hatteras Island, a series of small towns and communities south of Oregon Inlet. While in route, they called us to share the news of the storm’s upgrade to a category two.
This was no time to play around. While the local authorities did not issue a mandatory evacuation for the town of Nags Head, we still had to consider our readiness to encounter inconveniences such as flooding and loss of power should the storm continue to worsen.
Many variables caused the other families to arrive at the decision to end their vacation early. They packed and returned home to Virginia and Ohio.
Jon, Jacob, Jordan, cousin Kelsey, and I remained. We held fast because of God’s peace ruling our hearts. Had there been an absence of peace, we would have decided differently.
We ordered pizza, watched The Book Thief, then went to bed. Without planning it, I stayed awake on the front side of the eye’s passing, then went to sleep while Jon kept watch on the back side of the eye. Depending on the speed of rotation, I knew that we could experience some violent storms within the southern wall of the hurricane. Still, I slept.
I must confess, I watched with amazement my husband’s reaction to the unpredictability of a hurricane’s approach and landfall. He was resolute. He had no fear. He even speculated that our vehicles in the driveway of the rental home might be destroyed by flying debris or flooding, but he was prepared for that.
The following morning, my devotional had this to say about the ease with which we faced Hurricane Arthur:
Fretting means getting ourselves “out of joint” mentally or spiritually. It is one thing to say, “Do not fret,” but something very different to have such a nature that you find yourself unable to fret. It’s easy to say, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:7) until our own little world is turned upside down and we are forced to live in confusion and agony like so many other people. Is it possible to “rest in the Lord” then? If this “Do not [fret]” doesn’t work there, then it will not work anywhere. This “Do not [fret]” must work during our days of difficulty and uncertainty, as well as our peaceful days, or it will never work. And if it will not work in your particular case, it will not work for anyone else. Resting in the Lord is not dependent on your external circumstances at all, but on your relationship with God Himself. (My Utmost for His Highest, July 4)
It’s true. Attaining God’s peace during a situation beyond your control is highly unlikely if you fail to abide in His peace as a lifestyle.
But let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love Your Name may rejoice in You. For surely, O Lord, You bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield (Psalm 5:11-12).