You may have heard of storm chasers, or possibly have seen the television series that ran for a few years. If you have, you’ve probably wondered to yourself, “WHY would anyone deliberately place themselves near devastating tornadoes?” Why, indeed?

At the outset, let me be clear about something. I’m NOT talking about three college kids going to university in Tornado Alley who decide to put down their beer and go check out an approaching twister. No, I’m referring to trained meteorological professionals; atmospheric scientists with the skills, tools and training to accurately report the information they are observing. It’s a real job, the average salary is just under $100,000 a year, and one of the key job requirements is excellent sphincter control. (Just kidding about the sphincter part, couldn’t resist.) It’s not a job for everyone. Chasing storms can quickly turn dangerous; especially at night.

Storm chasers provide needed perspective and ground truth. The National Weather Service and television meteorologists in affected areas rely on live data being provided by storm chasers. Even today’s modern radar doesn’t see anything below fifteen hundred feet (hence the term “flying below the radar”), so the live-as-it-happens ground truth delivered by storm chasers is what enables the most accurate tornado warnings. They provide additional warning services to the National Weather Service, and to local TV networks as well, allowing them to get warnings out to people in the path of oncoming storms.

Today’s verse is a word of hope for those in the midst of one of life’s storms:

I could spend hours listing all of the storms people I know are facing NOW. A sixteen year old drowned in the river a couple of miles from our home when the canoe he and his friends were in capsized, his grandmother is coming to stay with us for a few weeks so she can be near her daughter. A bishop in our Communion is about to undergo the amputation of both of his legs, and a core group of seven close friends are directly supporting and encouraging he and his wife as they face the day to day issues and challenges. A neighbor has gone to care for her daughter whose Lupus has just caused kidney failure. One of my best friends is having surgery Monday to try and alleviate a problem that is causing massive losses of blood, clotting issues and other medical complications, all exacerbated by the fact that he’s a quadriplegic. The wife of one of my spiritual sons was hospitalized this week leaving him to care for their autistic child on his own. And that’s THIS week. I haven’t even mentioned anything more than 1000 miles from my house.

Tornados rage in the lives of all of us. Not always, of course; but often enough that their destructive damage is felt. But the grandmother coming to comfort her daughter – she’s a storm chaser. So are the team of seven. And my neighbor rushing to her daughter’s side. And the couple who moved into my paraplegic friend’s house so they could care for him. And the people praying for my spiritual son. Storm chasers all. Stepping INTO the swirling crisis of pain, fear and doubt to be a close observer and provide on-the-ground truth updates.

God is still in control, even in the midst of the storms of life. He does not abandon us in the midst of the storm. His word encourages us to FEAR NOT and promises us, “I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” He goes with us wherever we go, we are never abandoned or forsaken. And He sends storm chasers into our greatest struggles to walk with us and help us keep perspective. When the cares of our hearts are many, His consolations strengthen our soul. His power within us and His people beside us.

When the tornadoes of life swirl around us …
CHRIST is the answer we seek.
CHRIST is the strength we require.
CHRIST is the hope we hold onto.
CHRIST is the lifter of our heads.
CHRIST is the provision for our needs.

In late Feb 2008, Pastor Lowry Anderson was diagnosed with late-stage cancer, three weeks later he passed into the presence of Jesus leaving his wife Kandi and their children to walk through the ensuing storm. But they were not walking alone. Friends and family walking with them, of course; but so was the God who loved them and gave them strength. Here’s what Kandi wrote in her weekly newspaper column when they found out about her husband’s cancer:

“The ‘big C’ is not cancer, but rather: Christ, Calvary, the Cross, Crucified, Curses broken. Spirits of infirmity — Cast out, Captives freed, Covenant, Commandments. Commitment, Church, Confession, Clean. Communion, Conqueror and Crown. The big C isn’t cancer. The big C is Christ.”

Faith didn’t promise her a physical victory or an action plan to take away the cancer from her beloved husband. Faith promised her that God was in control. Faith promised her that He would work ALL THINGS together for good if her family would focus on their love for Him. Faith promised her Someone who would hold her up when she was too weak. She could not decide if her husband would live or die; that choice was not in her hands. She could decide if she would walk through the pain alone, or walk through it with her loving Lord. She had to decide which word got “the big C” – cancer or Christ.

She chose well. Her husband got his eternal reward, and she got to develop a deeper trust in the Rewarder.

Following Jesus doesn’t come with a promise that you’ll never face any pain or challenges in your life. As I’ve said before, if it did our churches would be filled to overflowing. Following Jesus comes with a promise that you’ll never face any pain or challenges in your life ALONE.


The hard truth is that PRAISE is the key to breakthrough, worship unlocks His healing presence in our lives. A Christian band named Casting Crowns wrote a song titled “Praise You In The Storm” recounting the lessons they learned watching 10-year old Erin Browning fight her battle with cancer. Erin praised God through her storm. The attitude of Erin and her family convicted band leader Mark Hall. He said watching Erin’s mom walk through this really showed him the truth about his worship. Watching her walk through a real storm showed Mark Hall that his worship was extremely situational.

It’s easy to praise God in the good times. It’s critical to praise God when times are not good. We need to praise God always … ESPECIALLY when it hurts.

When the founder of World Compassion, Pastor Terry Law, lost his wife in a car accident he became angry and bitter towards Jesus. He blamed Christ for letting his wife die. He recounts that about three weeks after the funeral his friend Oral Roberts invited Terry to come to his office. Oral had just lost his son, and the two men spent a couple of hours sharing their mutual pain. As they came to the end of their time together, Roberts stood up and told him, “Terry, I’m going to tell you something that could save your life if you do what I say. Go home, get down on your knees, and start to pray in the spirit. You have got to begin to praise the Lord.”

Terry knew that his storm chaser was stepping into his storm and giving the needed perspective. So the next morning, still filled with crippling anger and searing pain, he knelt by the side of his bed and spoke a hollow hallelujah. He said the word sounded empty as it echoed in his empty room. When he said, “I praise you Lord” his thoughts (and the enemy) began to taunt him.

The one who wanted to destroy him began sowing lies in his mind and said, “Terry Law you are a hypocrite. How can you praise God after He killed your wife? You don’t really mean those words. You’re lying!” Instead of listening to the father of lies, Terry began to say out loud, “Lord, I will bless you at all times. Lord, I will bless you at all times.” He continued to pray this over and over again. Here’s Terry’s own account of what happened as he refused to stop saying, “Lord, I WILL bless you at all times.”

“I felt a pressure building up inside. It was like water building up behind a dam. I kept praising and what felt like a dam exploded. With a mighty rush, I began to cry with hot, stinging tears. It was like a cramp in my stomach had suddenly released. I felt the Holy Spirit take the oil of healing and pour it over my fractured, torn emotions. I was being healed. Obedience in praise and worship had brought healing to my inner man. We need to praise God always … ESPECIALLY when it hurts.”


You don’t get to decide which tornados will enter your life. And we’re ALL going to get them, sooner or later.
You get to decide how you’re going to face them.

I never want to face them alone. I don’t have the strength for that.
In every life we will have cares, concerns, crises and conflict.
Those are all little c’s.

The big C is CHRIST !!


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