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Doug Creamer: Thankful through the storms

Has it only been a week since I last wrote a column? It seems like more than a month. It has been a crazy week. We were back to school today after being off for a few days because of the hurricane.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column twice a month for the SNAP.

I asked my students, “How many of you lost power?” It was about a third that lost power for at least a few hours, with one student who had not received power back before she came to school.

We lost power on Thursday afternoon. When darkness settled in on Thursday evening it became apparent that the power would not be returning. We had lanterns and flashlights and we cooked supper using the gas grill. We were pioneering it.

When Thursday turned into Friday and the prospect of power seemed out of reach, pioneering began to lose its appeal. I cleaned out the refrigerator on Friday before the trash men came. We were still hopeful that power would be restored before the freezer thawed. That did not happen, so we cleaned the freezer out on Saturday.

Pioneering had completely lost its appeal.

Throughout this process we remained thankful that our home had not been affected and that the weather was nice and comfortable. We were thankful for each other and we were thankful for our many blessings.

On both Thursday and Friday night I went outside and could not believe how many beautiful stars I could see.

I have great neighbors. We were all checking on each other. While we had some trees down in our neighborhood, thankfully, none of my neighbors had any storm damage other than struggling through the loss of power. We are thankful for each other. We were happy when the power came back on Saturday evening.

We cleaned up all the pioneering stuff, started some laundry and rejoiced again each time we flipped a switch and the lights worked. With the power back on, it was time to start getting things back to normal. The refrigerator looks nice, clean and spacious.

Once the power was on and the cleanup was well underway, I slowed down and took a few minutes to catch up with the internet. Looking at things on your phone is just not the same as the computer screen.

I watched several videos about the destruction left behind by Hurricane Michael. My heart broke for so many people who are suffering from the powerful destruction left behind by the storm. The storm affected people from Florida to Virginia.

When I finished watching the videos, I asked God to comfort those who were suffering. I asked Him to activate His church to reach out to those who need help. I asked God to let His love flow through His people and to bring healing.

I thought about the news reports where people kept saying that they were praying to God for help. They were thankful to be alive and for His protection through the storm. They were thankful to be safely on the other side.

When the storms of life are wailing it’s hard to be thankful. When our health is failing, finances are drying up, the enemy has stolen from us, we have been wronged and when doubt, fear and discouragement have camped out in our minds, it can be difficult to thank God.

Where is the justice?

Where is the reward for serving God?

We must quiet our minds and turn our hearts toward our Daddy in heaven. We must thank Him for never leaving us. We must thank Him for the courage and strength to face our circumstances.

We must thank and praise Him for all that is good and right in our lives. I know it is hard, but we serve a good and loving Heavenly Father who will come through for us.
I know many friends who are facing overwhelming circumstances. I know God will help them. If you find yourself in the storm, then I want to encourage you to take your eyes off your situation and look to your loving Heavenly Father.

Focus on Him.

Then start to thank Him for all the good things in your life. Praise Him for who He is. If you can, worship Him.

You will discover what you may have temporarily forgotten, that He is closer than you thought. He is with you. He will see you through the storm that you are facing.

I am praying for you right now, trusting and believing that God will reveal Himself to you, and that He will help you find His peace in the midst of your storm.

Doug Creamer writes a column about religion for The Stanly News & Press. Contact him at doug@dougcreamer. com.