My heart is in anguish within me,
And the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me,
And horror has overwhelmed me.
I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
“Behold, I would wander far away,
I would lodge in the wilderness. Selah.
“I would hasten to my place of refuge
From the stormy wind and tempest.”
(Psalm 55 5-8)
(the native azalea survived Winter’s fury / Julie Cook / 2014)
For you are the God of both tempest storm and peaceful calm.
You see us and know of the terror caused by a blackened sky
We neither sleep nor rest as the winds howl all around us
Our nights are filled with anguish and dread, for in the darkness hides an unforgiving twisting wind.
The rains cause the creeks and rivers to flow from their banks, taking away what is ours
The hail assaults our dwelling place and causes damage to all things exposed
When we emerge from the shelter of the pit,
Our eyes stare in disbelief at the destruction.
Lives now scattered like fallen leaves.
No identifying markers reamin.
We are helpless to stop the storm
It chooses neither rich nor poor, young nor old.
It discriminates not as it sets a random course.
Our eyes are swollen with dried up tears
As our tongues stick to a dry and tasteless mouth
Missing now are pets, friends, neighbors, schools, homes, cars, businesses.
Neither grass nor leaf, flower nor bird.
And yet You hear our cries.
You know of our broken lives.
You are not absent in the wind
You know of each lightening strike as you count each and every drop of rain.
We cry out to You and You are there.
As skies darken for a third straight day, draw close to us as we look up in fear
Bring peace to the raging storm
Quiet the fierce winds
Spare us oh God, for you are merciful and You alone know of our distress.
And should the storms descend upon our lives, scattering all that we cherish,
Be with us as we pick up the debris of our lives.
Help us to rebuild and make new what was taken.
Grant us strength in the face of our weakness.
We need not fear for it is only in You that we have already overcome Death.