“NAHNEE! Today was my … Best. Day. EV-ER!”

It was still a couple of weeks before school started for Katie Grace. The previous weeks had found K.G. in a lot of exciting places — Dollywood and Disney World to name a couple. Sammie wondered what great adventure had surpassed Dollywood and Disney World.

My wife had barely begun to ask, when our granddaughter continued with her answer.

“We went to a concert in the park, but it was rained out and we chased each other in the rain and splashed in the mud puddles, and we took off our raincoats and umbrellas and our clothes got soaked … all the way down to our underwear!”

Apparently a rainy day in the park is more fun for a 5 ½-year-old than a sunny day in a theme park, and that’s OK!

As I write these words and as you read them a few days later, Hurricane Dorian is in our minds. A “fun time” is nowhere to be found when considering that type of weather phenomenon. Our hearts are heavy due to the loss of life and the billions of dollars of property damage, especially in the Bahamas, caused by Dorian. Right now we are praying for the safety of our daughter and precious granddaughter as they weather the storm in Wilmington. Hopefully by the time this story is in print it will all be over. We are praying that we will be able to say the last of it was not as bad as the first.

Last year, close to this time of year, Shannon and Katie Grace were running from Hurricane Florence. K.G. ended up spending a couple of weeks with Nahnee and Papa. I suppose that was one of the few good things about Florence. For the most part it was horrible. Most hurricanes are.

But even in the midst of a dreadful storm, we can find peace and joy in the presence of God. Matthew, Mark and Luke recorded the account in the New Testament of Jesus calming a storm. Along with his disciples, Jesus was in a fishing vessel in the middle of the sea when a nasty squall hit them, threatening to capsize their boat. Everyone on board was scared to death — everyone, that is, except Jesus. Jesus was peacefully napping.

Seeing Jesus in serene slumber angered the others, so they did something the wind and waves couldn’t do. They woke him up. Then they had the audacity to reprimand the Son of God for not being terrified as they were. Jesus simply stood up, yawned (I suppose), commanded the tempest to cease and replaced it with peace.

Millions of lives have been and will be affected throughout the hurricane season. Other meteorological events, traffic accidents, sickness, terrorist activities, family tragedy, and various other occurrences will be the storms that wreak havoc on countless others. Just remember that Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Remember that he is able to still the stormy sea. He may choose to walk with us through our disaster, though. Either way, Philippians chapter four tells us that if we replace our anxiety with prayer, the peace of God, which passes understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ.

And peace beyond understanding brings joy unspeakable.

Sometimes the weather delivers experiences of bliss with puddles to splash in and showers to run through. Other times it creates disaster and human suffering that breaks our hearts and drives us to our knees. Always the presence of God in our lives will carry us through, if we trust Him to bring peace to our hearts and minds.

Rejoice with those who rejoice. Weep with and pray for those who mourn.

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Steve Playl — chaplain, columnist, college instructor and former pastor — can be emailed at playlsr@yahoo.com.

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