When God Sends Us Into the Storm

In 1989 Hurricane Hugo was bearing down on the coast of South Carolina. Hurricanes were nothing new in the Carolinas. You might think of them as summer Nor'easters. Each year one or two hit the coast with varying degrees of intensity. Sometimes we might go to the beach and watch the massive waves break (A brave few would surf them) and other times we'd go out and play in the giant gusts. But every decade or so the big one hits. That was Hugo.

Hugo was heading right for my hometown of Charleston, SC. Much of Downtown Charleston is below sea level and at the hint of a slight drizzle, the streets will disproportionately flood. To this day my parents question their logic, but they decided to wait out the storm on the Charleston peninsula... about 16 feet above sea level. While the storm looked like a medium-strength hurricane, right before it hit shore it intensified to a strong category 4. The effects of the 9-foot storm surge and sustained 140 MPH winds were devastating. When it was all over Hugo did 10 billion dollars worth of damage.

I was very young at the time. My memories are of feeling the stronger than usual winds outside on my great grandad's porch and seeing the weatherman meltdown out of fear as he continued to report the ever-worsening storm as it was hitting the shore. But then, I went to sleep and woke up the next morning after the storm. I literally slept through the most dangerous night of my life.

My mom and dad didn't. My dad tells the story of thinking he had killed his family. He replays the windows blowing out from the drop in pressure as Hugo battered Charleston. It was the most terrifying night of his life. But I had no fear. Even though he had brought me into the storm, I slept like a baby because I trusted him. We woke up the next day to downed trees, destroyed homes, and a flooded city. But we were alive.

This week we look at Mark 6:45-56 where Jesus sends his disciples into the storm and then walks on top of it. It's a powerful passage about trusting in who God is even in the storms of life. I hope you'll join us.