Last Thursday, September 11th, I clipped on my chaplain name tag and drove up to Raleigh to visit a company in the Bank of America building. I always enjoy visiting, and also appreciate the beautiful view of Raleigh through the floor-to-ceiling windows from the 9th floor.
After making my rounds, catching up with my friends, and discussing Florence’s arrival, how the storm will impact our college students, families, and their business, one of the employees yelled, “There’s a rainbow!” Jumping up to our feet, the ladies and I all gathered by the windows to take pictures. Then I heard, “There’s a double-rainbow!”
I was probably a little disruptive that day in the office – I was so excited! I don’t recall praying about seeing a rainbow from their office on the 9th floor, but I had a desire in my heart that only God knew.
On 9/11/18 rainbows were everywhere! Others shared pictures of them that afternoon too! The date is dear to our hearts already reminding us to pray for the loss in NYC too.
After Florence arrived the next day with her strong winds and relentless rain, I read about Noah and the flood. To my surprise, Genesis 9:11 (the same date as we saw the rainbows!)
God said, “I will establish m covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” (He had to say it twice so we would listen! Emphasizing it twice like a double-rainbow!) God continues, “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth…”I will remember…”(Genesis 9:11-17).
How kind of God to give us a sign that He remembers His promise before the traumatic flooding from Florence hit hard in eastern NC and SC. Watching it rain for four days and four nights straight, I should not complain, but at times it felt like Noah…stuck in the house for 40 days and nights.
During the rainy days of Florence, God lead me to pray Psalm 28:6-9; 29. The Psalm was written by King David in the midst of a storm he endured.
Praise be to the Lord, for He has heard (our) cry for mercy. Thank you, Lord! The Lord is (our) strength and shield. (Our) hearts trusts in You and You help (us).
Lord, as You promise, You are the strength for Your people, a fortress of salvation for Your anointed one(s). Save Your people. Lord, bless Your inheritance; be (our) Shepherd and carry (us) now and forever.
We (honor) ascribe glory to Your Name (in this mighty storm).
The voice of the Lord is powerful.
The voice of the Lord is majestic…
The voice of the Lord strikes with lightning…
The voice of the Lord twists the oaks.
And in His temple all cry, “GLORY!”
The LORD sits enthroned over the flood
The LORD gives strength to his people, and
blesses His people with peace. AMEN.
Lord, recognizing 9/18 as Yom Kippur, the Jewish Holy Day of Atonement, I pray that what we have seen in the physical, may be a spiritual move of God, a cleansing of our hearts. May we turn back to the Lord with a reverent fear, giving Him our “ear”, taking time to listening to His voice with undivided attention and devotion.
We come Father, in the name of Jesus. Thank you, Lord , for Your peace, knowing You are seated over the flood in full control. Thank you for the sign of the rainbows to let us know that we do not need to fear a total flood of the earth, but that You are with us in the turbulent waters. Thank you, You love us and provided a rescue plan for us through sending Your Son, Jesus, who came to die and save us from the “flood” of sin and rebellion that separates us from You. We give You our lives. We believe and receive Jesus. Thank you, for the blessing of peace for now and eternity, a depth of peace in the midst of the storm no words can explain. Amen.
It breaks our hearts to hear about the loss of life, many people having to flee their homes, and many who are without power. I can’t imagine! In the coming days, weeks and months, let’s continue to pray for those in need of relief, for successful recovery efforts, for effective help by 1st Responders and volunteers, about serving ourselves in relief efforts, and for the gospel to be shared with many
As I finish writing this, the sun is peeking through the clouds!