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From Your Pastor's Heart - 08/28/2017

Seeing the storm damage from Hurricane Harvey along the Texas coastline and further inline reminds me of one of the advantages to “Growing Up on Dump Ground Road.” My hometown of Rockdale was almost 200 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. Usually, a hurricane or tropical storm from the gulf would only result in some slight wind and rain for us. The only exception to that rule was Hurricane Carla that hit Texas in September of 1961. That hurricane spawned several tornadoes, including an F4 twister that severely damaged the city of Galveston.

There were 43 deaths and over $325 million in damages attributed to Hurricane Carla.

I had just turned seven a few weeks before Carla came calling. We had several relatives living in the path of the storm, so my parents kept the television tuned to the news so that they could get the latest weather reports. It was a rare thing for a hurricane to present any threat to the Central Texas area, but Carla was a stubborn lady who still packed a powerful punch at Tropical Storm status. I remember the howling winds and heavy rain beating down on our old, wooden frame house. The fact that my parents were concerned had me concerned, as well.

I learned from that experience that my mother hated storms. My mom was raised in West Texas, where the most common weather threat is tornadoes. However, most people living in tornado country either have a storm cellar or a close neighbor with a storm shelter. I think my mother missed having a safe place to hide in the storms. We were fortunate to survive our frightening visit from Carla without any real damage.

The most valuable life lesson that I learned from Hurricane Carla was that no human is able to protect me from a storm. They can tell me where to go to find the safest place in the house. They can wrap their arms around me to comfort me. Yet, the only Master of the Storm is Jesus! At an early age, I learned the importance of praying during a storm. I prayed for God’s protection during Carla in the 1960’s and I prayed for God’s protection as Harvey hit the coast of Texas this weekend. I am saddened by the loss of life and severe damage caused by this storm.

However, I am praising God that the death toll and the destruction were not even worse.

Serving in love,

Bro. Jim

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