“‘Til the Storm Passes By”

Runoff from our hill 

Bills must be paid, despite stormy weather, mudslides, downed trees. Driving to the post office yesterday to mail those payments, Don and I saw four waterfalls, not there before, cascading down the hills on our right.

California has been inundated with storms recently. Two hundred thousand residents were temporarily evacuated when breaks in the Oroville Dam spillways threatened enormous floods. Flooding has overwhelmed parts of Southern California. Mudslides, power outages, and traffic tie-ups have resulted in several deaths.

Trees have fallen across roads, onto houses and cars, and slid down hillsides. Unsafe. Highway 17 has only two lanes open. Our road, a main alternative to Highway 17, is closed indefinitely north of us. The road has already sunk at least eighteen inches in one area, while a sinkhole took out a fourth of the road in another. Unstable.

The storm offers some gifts. Staying home. Burrowing in with hubby and dogs, writing, reading, cleaning, napping.

It also offers challenges. Don has created a good drainage system under the house, and along the road, so the water will not threaten our foundation. He’s checking it and refining it again today. Early this afternoon, Safeway was quite full, people filling their carts in preparation for the next storm, starting later today.

Storms enter our lives in different ways. Years ago I was seriously depressed. No strength remained in my mind or heart. But I had a cassette (I know – almost prehistoric!) of a melodious male quartet. “My” song talked about the storms of life. Every night for three weeks I crawled into bed, depressed, fearful, sometimes crying, and played that song. My prayer was brief. “Lord, I have nothing with which to hold onto you right now. Please hold me.”

When the long night has ended,
And the storms come no more,
Let me stand in Thy presence.
On that bright, peaceful shore.
In that land where the tempest
Never comes, Lord may I
Dwell with Thee when the storm passes by.

‘Til the storm passes over,
‘Til the thunder sounds no more;
‘Til the clouds roll forever from the sky,
Hold me fast, let me stand,
In the hollow of Thy hand;
Keep me safe ’til the storm passes by.

Hold me fast, Let me stand,
In the hollow of Thy hand;
Keep me safe ’til the storm passes by.

And He kept me. Storms came, and went, and still do. But my hope is in the God who will hold me fast “’til the storm passes by.”

If you’re discouraged, caught in a storm you don’t know how to get out of, I pray this song will minister to you as it did to me. That it will give you hope, and truth to hold onto until your storm passes over. God be with you.

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2 Responses

  1. MarJean Peters says:

    Dearest Carol,
    Thank you for sharing this article. It came as God’s encouragement to me today. I came down with a wicked flu bug after take-off in the airplane from Orlando on Tuesday. A doc on board finally gave me an anti-nausea shot which got me on the next flight home to Spokane. After two days of recovery, it hit again with a vengeance. Today is Monday. Our Disney trip was relationally painful with one person, which didn’t help my resistance to bugs. My husband is not completely out of the woods yet from prescription drug withdrawal. I’m longing for the Rapture, but need strength until these storms pass by. Thank you for this comforting song and turning my eyes to Jesus.

    • carolnl says:

      Jeannie, I’m so sorry I didn’t see your comment until today. Your flu sounds awful and I’m glad an onboard doctor could provide the help you needed to get home safely. I trust you’re well by now.

      Relationship challenges can be so very painful, and I regret you experienced another while on your trip. You and your husband have faced many challenges over the years; and I so appreciate your honesty and vulnerability in both life and faith. Just read about a Polish resistance fighter in WWII, named Stypulkowski. He and 15 others were captured by the Russians. The interrogators probed with questions and accusations of evil thoughts, deeds, behaviors – and when they found each man’s weakness, used that to break him…”Save yourself and your family from embarrassment”. Only Stypukowski never broke. After 70 days of twice daily interrogations, he was freed. When accused, he said, ” …But gentlemen, I am much worse than that.’ For you see, I learned it was unnecessary for me to justify myself. One had already done that for me–Jesus Christ.”

      You model for me that kind of trust in God’s grace even while the difficulties of life persist. I love you.

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