A prayer after Irma and Harvey (with help from Psalm 23)

The Lord is my storm-shelter;

           I shall not fear.

 

He prompts me to wisely prepare in advance,

            and store provisions for myself and others.

 

He leads me to secure homes, churches, and businesses

with sandbags and plywood.

 

He even guides me to flee and seek higher ground

—or safety miles away—because sometimes

the bravest action is to run.

 

Even when a category 5 hurricane threatens,

            and dark winds and waves crash upon me,

            I will fear no evil.

           

For I know that I am not alone.

            for you, O God, are with me,

            my family and friends, they comfort me,

            and strangers risk their very lives to rescue me.

 

You’ve prepared a table before me in emergency shelters,

and you provide food, medicine, and clothing

            through the charity of people nationwide.

 

How strange that the worst nature can throw at us

            can somehow bring out the best in humanity,

and though our homes are damaged by floods,

            our cups overflow with kindness.

 

When it seems like we’ve lost everything,

            we realize that to be alive is to be rich!

 

Surely we will survive this tempest and others yet to come,

            both physically and spiritually,

            because of the lessons learned only by storm survivors.

 

And we will dwell in thankfulness,

            with God and one another, forever.

Dr. Rick Stedman is a survivor of the 9.2 Alaskan Earthquake of 1964 and of many storms in ministry. He is also a collector of classic-rock LPs, bookaholic, author, pastor, and devoted husband and father. He most recent book is "31 Surprising Reasons to Believe in God: How Superheroes, Art, Environmentalism, and Science Point to Faith" (Harvest House, 2017) and he blogs at rickstedman.com.