By Stewart Holloway
PINEVILLE, La. – On Aug. 26, 1992, Hurricane Andrew slammed into Louisiana after ripping through Southern Florida a couple of days before. I was a junior in high school more interested about getting a few days out of school than anything else. I had no idea how transformational that week would become for me.
My home church agreed to become a hurricane shelter, and people flooded in, primarily from Franklin, LA, many from the same African American church. People found places to sleep everywhere throughout the church from the pews to Sunday School classrooms. One family was even in the pastor’s office because we were without a pastor at the time. Many of our church members worked tirelessly feeding and caring for the evacuees.
The transformational moment for me happened the night Andrew made landfall. The evacuees and our church gathered for a time of worship. The Franklin church’s choir filled our choir loft, and their organist sat down at our organ. As the praise and worship began, I experienced a joy and hope like I had seldom seen. In the midst of uncertainty and with a hurricane blasting through their town, those people worshiped. They had faith in God in the midst of the storm.
For 28 years now, whenever I hear of a hurricane, I think of those people. They left a mark on that high school junior, teaching him an important lesson. No matter what comes, praise and worship the Lord through the storm.
How can we do that? By remembering that God is with us no matter what is going on around us. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, God promises to never leave us. His abiding presence gives us reason to praise and worship even with winds howling around us and darkness overshadowing us.
We do not know what we face today, but we know with Whom we will face it. Trust in the Lord. Praise His holy name. He will get us through.
Stewart Holloway is pastor of First Baptist Church in Pineville. This editorial first appeared on his Facebook page.