So, we had an interesting mini-tour experience this past fall, right around the time of Hurricane Michael; which hit the pan-handle of Florida. We were scheduled to both lead worship and perform in Thomasville, GA, Chattanooga, TN; and Tallahassee, FL. As we watched the weather, we saw how Hurricane Michael hit near Panama City, right before our last tour stop in Tallahassee area, and right after our stop in Thomasville. How crazy! We were very close, but missed it! Our friends in Thomasville, GA were ok thankfully. We then headed up Friday to Tennessee, and performed live at Cambridge Square in Chattanooga, and we had a great time seeing lots of friends and family. I even got to share about the songs and a little gospel message to wrap up the night. Then, after double-checking that the church in Tallahassee was ok, we found they were very eager to see us, and didn’t cancel us coming, so we still kept the plans for the week to head down to the panhandle of FL. Nevertheless, that’s when things began to get really interesting….
That Saturday, we headed back down through Georgia, and of course Atlanta, where traffic is always a beast. This time, we watched a wreck happen in front of us, as I decided to take a detour West of Atlanta, through the western part of GA, instead of straight down I-75. But that was a mistake. Although the roads were scenic through the countryside, we began to notice the street lights were out, and no gas stations were open. Then we drove through countless small towns, where the Hurricane had come through. There we passed by collapsed roofs and downed trees, as well as over power lines! Luckily the roads were still passable, but no gas stations of course! I had forgotten about the path of the hurricane, and by that time we were getting low on gas! Finally, after much prayer, we ended up coasting into Tallahassee with a few miles to spare. After 3 gas stations, we found 1 in town that had gas — we had just made it!
Next, we drove to the hotel to stay for the night, only to discover that they had given up all of our rooms to the electrical workers, of which there was an army of them all around town. Luckily, the hotel down the street had 1 room left! So we took it! With a couple of us on the floor. As we checked in and I reached to lock the door in the van, my key broke off in the key hole!!! So crazy… We ended up fishing the other end out, and then placing it in the ignition, and using the other half to turn it — just enough to be able to start the van! Needless to say, we were ready to have a great day the next day, because we had gone through some tough circumstances the previous night. And it was an awesome experience with our friends that next morning at Promised Land Church, where we got to encourage many folks who were refugees from the storm a few towns over. It was awesome to provide a song as an anthem for not only our own experiences, but the lyrics were speaking to those who went through the hurricane — we debuted our song, “Storms” that morning, which is about God being our rock during times of stormy seasons of life. The lyrics of the song are simple: “I will trust in You, Lord; I will trust in only You; You are my shelter in a time of storm. Jesus is a rock in a weary land, a shelter in a time of storm…” The song “Storms” draws influence from an old hymn, “Shelter in a time of Storm”.
And I think that’s something to be reminded of. When unforeseeable circumstances and hardships come your way — not ‘if’, but ‘when’ they come — are you prepared? Friends, there is not really much you can do in certain times of our life, when things collapse around you and when troubles wash over like a tidal wave. The ONLY hope we have is in Jesus, as simple as it sounds. There is hope in the one who made the very seas, and is a steady rock when things become shaky. Psalm 91:1-2 says: “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'”
I am grateful that I can REST in the Almighty, who sees beyond what I see and failures and circumstances — even though we may go through tough times and face trials, He sees even my potential and always provides a way out and strength to rise above all situations. Consider taking hold of that promise today, of which goes way beyond our own capability.