Warren Faidley is a photojournalist and storm chaser who wrote about his work: “Being in the right place at the right time is a symphony forecasting and navigation while dodging everything from softball-sized hailstones to dust storms and slow-moving farm equipment.” Most of us don’t go out chasing storms!

But perhaps you are like the man who said: “I don’t have to chase storms – they seem to be chasing me!” That can be very frustrating and perhaps anxiety producing.

It raises the question that many Americans and in particular, Cherokee Countians, are facing while we are “hunkered down” in our homes in the battle against COVID-19.

The challenges to which many of us respond are those which require an active response. Our national pride causes us to unite and fight back when we are attacked. We are not good at adapting to the passive responses which seem to be required of us in a time like this.

I’m old enough to remember a period in the 1960s when we lived through three assassinations: President John F. Kennedy, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and Sen. Robert Kennedy within a relatively short period of time. That national grief had a kind of numbing effect on our ability to fight back. We didn’t know what we should do.

Not a decade ago, we watched on television as planes crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York and a broadside attack from an outside power seemed to cripple us for some days until a plan to strike back got us into the longest war in our national history. And here we are again with a dangerous health attack we barely understand and feel challenged to protect ourselves and our families and friends from its spread.

As I thought about this situation, I remembered being on the Sea of Galilee in Israel several years ago. When I led the group devotional there, I read about the disciple’s sense of powerlessness, even though they were expert fishermen, in the midst of the storm. Their frustration was heightened because Jesus was asleep in the hull of the boat. Finally they awakened Him and asked, “Don’t you care that we are going to perish in this storm?”

Jesus’s response to their concern was to speak to the winds and the waves: “Peace, be still!” As the storm subsided, those disciples asked, “What manner of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

I am not suggesting that you do not take the coronavirus health crisis seriously. The Galilee crisis suggests that blaming someone for not caring, as the disciples did Jesus, or even screaming out in fear is not a good approach.

I believe we can find reassurance in the middle of this “storm” we face, too. More than 250 times in the Bible a comforting message comes from God in these words:

“Fear not…”

Discovering the calmness that comes when we trust our safety and security to the God Who created us is step one. Then, believing and waiting for His solution is step two.

Follow the common sense directions provided by the medical community and remain calm.

A friend made this suggestion: “Don’t tell God how big your storm is. Tell your storm how big your God is!”

A note to our readers

In these troubling times when we are all dealing with the coronavirus, local news is more valuable than ever. We have made the decision to give our readers free access during this crisis, but we ask that you would voluntarily support local journalism by signing up for a digital subscription. Your subscription will allow you to keep seeing our valuable local coverage even after we have weathered this storm.

Dr. James E. Kilgore retired as President of the International Family Foundation and lives in Canton. His most recent book, LIVING WITHOUT LIMITS, was published in late 2019 and is available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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