To this day I can almost taste the most memorable slice of carrot cake I’ve ever had. It was delicious - the frosting was everything you’d want to be. The cake was moist yet firm, with just the right amount of sweetness.

Delish!

But I’d be lying to you if I now claimed that what made this piece of carrot cake so memorable was how it tasted. It actually had nothing to do with taste. It had to do with where I was eating it and what was going on. You see this memorable piece of cake had not been served to me at a birthday party, it was not handed to me on our fine Christmas china. I was not eating it at a church potluck surrounded by friends and cheerful grown-ups. This particular piece of carrot cake (which I can still almost taste) was served to me in our basement, while my entire family, plus my Aunt and Uncle, sat on the cold pavement. No one was particularly happy - in fact, no one payed much attention to the cake at all. Everyone was listening to the radio and wind.

Now you see dear friends, what made this piece of carrot cake so memorable to me - it was not the taste, it was the fact that I ate it on the night the Tornado came. 

A tornado had touched down in our area, and we were downstairs waiting it out, praying it wouldn’t come near the house (it didn’t). So we sat. Waiting and listening. Listening to the wind and the rain and the radio. As we listened the storm seemed to ebb and flow in its intensity - sometimes it seemed to be over, hissing out it’s last breath, only to roar up anew with greater energy. So I sat there munching my carrot cake, waiting for the storm to end. 

Which all of us have been doing lately. We’ve all been waiting for the storm to end - hunched up in our houses hoping the storm won’t touch down by our front door. But the Covid 19 pandemic is no normal storm. You can’t see it, although we like to think we can hear it’s approach. So we strain our ears. Listening to TV, radio, websites, news reports.

The wind and the rain.

We can’t quite make out what we hear about this new storm. Is it growing in intensity or is it ebbing away? Is it leveling off? Flattening the curve? Yada, yada, yada? So and so forth? 

That’s how it goes when you’re waiting out the storm. You strain your ears, trying to hear what it’s doing. When it will end.

But brothers and sisters, all I had to occupy my time that night of the Tornado was a piece of carrot cake. However, God in his love has given us something much better to chew on during our current storm. He’s given us his precious Word and unstoppable promises. He has reminded us time and again that though this storm of a pandemic seems to be strong, it is not even close to being as strong as Him. And more than anything, in His Word He has assured us again and again that nothing - no physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, national, or international danger can take us out His hands. He is stronger than all and he loves us dearly.

So we wait out the storm.

As I write this it looks like the storm might be breaking. It looks like we may be able to return to worship at Good Shepherd’s soon. I am excited, but I am also wary. Is the storming petering out or is this only a temporary break before it returns with more intensity? I don’t know. And quite frankly, I don’t much care. Because my God is with me. He is with you. And He will protect us.

So here we are waiting out the storm, knowing that our God will get us through. 

That’s not such a bad place to be after all.

Yours in Christ

Pastor Joshua Zarling



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