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A present help in times of trouble

"God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear. Though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling."" Psalm 46:1-3

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands." Isaiah 49:15,16

When I see the news reports of the tornadoes and other severe weather hitting many regions in the U.S. I immediately lift up prayers for those in the area. I know what it's like to live in areas with that type of weather, and I know of those who have currently been affected by them. Having experienced tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes, I am well aware of the raw emotions that erupt when faced with imminent danger and the aftermath of disastrous situations. I have felt the mixed emotion of the relief of surviving the tumult while sharing the shock and sorrow for those whose losses were devastating. There is a strange camaraderie that forms with shared experiences, even when those experiences aren't positive.

Every time I see reports of this nature, I am immediately drawn back to the memory of the days following some of the most intense time in my life. The memory of an ice cream party in the middle of a cul de sac after the hurricane knocked out power is one of those strange yet wonderful moments. Even though we knew the power would be out for at least four days in the sweltering humidity and heat of south Texas, we found comfort and solace in the makeshift party. The ice cream wouldn't have survived in the freezers, but we had all survived and could celebrate even though there was damage to our homes. When our then 15 month old son was diagnosed with kidney disease and the doctors prognosis wasn't encouraging, our family and friends rallied around us. Their love and prayerful support saw us through one of the darkest periods of our lives.

In 1989 when an earthquake rattled our lives after we moved to California, there was comfort again. Knowing family and friends were praying with and for me gave me courage as I waited to know whether or not my husband had survived. He was near the epicenter and it would be hours before I knew of his well being. These were the days before cell phones.

In situations such as these and others, such as the loss of loved ones, severe illnesses of others, a change in my husbands career after 25 years with the same employer, and being in business for ourselves, I have continually felt the great comfort of God's presence and peace. He constantly assures me He is in control, even when life seems out of control. Repeatedly He has demonstrated He holds each of us securely in the palm of His hand, and nothing comes to us that hasn't been permitted by Him.

It gives me deep assurance and allows me to pray with greater conficence in His love for those who are currently experiencing storms in their lives. I know He is a very present help in time of trouble and He will never abandon those He loves and who love Him.