Through The Storm

September 4, 2016
by JJ Ollerenshaw

Psalm 97:4 – His lightning flashes out across the world. The earth sees and trembles. (TLB)

Here in eastern Ontario, Canada, we experienced drought conditions this year even before the end of May. Our summer, so far, has been extremely hot and dry. Last week, a tornado warning was in effect, but although the air turned green with that strange, foreboding light here in town, we experienced just a bad storm and some much-needed rain.

North of the city, where we own a small cabin on a lake in the woods, it was another story. Though our flags still flapped merrily atop their pole, as we approached our island on the weekend, we found that we couldn't get out of the boat for all the trees that had come down across the dock. Slowly, we went around our island looking for a place to land. We cheered when we found our bridge intact, but saw with dismay that many huge, old trees had crashed down across the trail. Some were ripped right out of the ground, their roots exposed, leaving wide, gaping holes as deep as we are tall.

Cutting our way through with a chainsaw and scrambling over trunks and branches, we approached the cabin with some trepidation. First, we sighed with relief when we discovered that the outhouse was undamaged! And then, a great cheer from three generations, as the tiny cabin that we built ourselves came into view. It stood firm, untouched by the elements.

The dining tent was tossed and torn, chairs and picnic table were overturned, the lawn was covered with branches, and the windows and deck were plastered with tiny bits of dirt and shredded leaves. But we knew that God had been gracious and merciful to us. He had placed a hedge of protection around us.

On every visit, we pray God's blessings on our dear little cabin, asking God for protection and safety for us, our boat, and the things that we've accumulated there over the years. Our grandchildren are witness to the fact that God has never failed us, and we never fail to praise Him.

And though there was much work ahead of us to set to right the damage the storm wrought, before we opened our picnic lunches, we all bowed our heads to thank God, for we are so blessed.

So often in life, when problematic situations arise, we are tempted to focus on what went wrong or on the hard work that is required to make things right again, rather than rejoicing over the ways that God has protected us. Whatever is happening in our lives today, God wants us to praise Him anyway, and as we do so, we'll see the blessings!

Prayer: Father in heaven, we acknowledge that You alone control the weather, and You are always watching over Your children. Thank You for Your divine protection through life's storms. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

JJ Ollerenshaw <sandjollie@yahoo.com>

Belleville, Ontario, Canada


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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for sharing JJ. God bless.


    Thank God to His Divine Protection. Amen.


    JJ, praising God you and your island retreat have been protected by God’s loving hand. Thanks for sharing. Blessings.


    Thank you for your wonderful devotional. It was a good thing that you had your chain saw so readily available! I know of what you write about. My husband and I have the privilege of driving to Manitoulin Island every year and the property is several kilometres through bush from the main road. There were times when there was a tree or two strewn across our path.


    Dear JJ,
    Thank you for your account of the storm and of your readiness to thank God for the blessings of your cottage being unharmed.
    We experienced a terrific tornado through our farmyard in 1944 here in southern Manitoba, so I understand. Our old barn was reduced mostly to kindling-wood and left only us enough recyclable boards to build a small one-car garage. The cattle were picked up and set down on the road, with not even one broken leg. The downpour of rain immediately after the tornado left the dirt road a good medium for the animal hoof-prints to show exactly where they began their independent trek back toward the laneway.
    God does amazing things!
    We were in the house eating supper when the storm hit. The house fared well.
    Keep writing.


    I feel like I was actually there as you described the devastation created by this wild storm. I have spent a lot of time out of doors and at my cabin in northern Ontario so I share in your description God’s of protective hand in these situations. This also applies to storms in my own life so I really appreciated this devotional.
    It reminded me once again how much I have to praise God for.

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