News headlines read, "The Worst Storm in a Decade." The greater Portland area had been at a standstill for almost a week. Snow, wind, sleet, freezing rain, and ice had virtually halted activity in our neck of the woods. My children had been out of school for an entire week — the first snow days in nine years! Our airport had been shut down for three days. Travelers were sleeping all over the concourses, just waiting for this highly unusual Northwest weather to make a change for the better. Hundreds of truckers had been stuck in Troutdale, Oregon anticipating the opening of the highway through the Columbia River Gorge! Even the mailman, who is known for braving any adverse condition, didn't make it to our neighborhood once! An event like this, that disrupts our natural patterns of life, often causes us to spend time reflecting on our lives. What's really important to us? What do we know for sure?

"Cabin fever" has been the prevalent syndrome discussed on the news channel the last few days. However, many viewers have sent messages talking about the wonderful opportunities this severe weather has given them to play games with their kids, spend time with their spouse, be still and read a book, rediscover a passion, or reconnect with a neighbor. People are often thrown by the wayside in the hurried pace of our lives. God's Word is one amazing story of his pursuit of people. The weather has reminded us that people are important.

The financial impact of this storm is also staggering. State Chief Economist, Tom Potiowsky, estimates that the financial impact for our state could be in the neighborhood of 10 million dollars ( Yet, the roads are being cleared, dear souls are bringing food and essentials to the airport for stranded travelers, and grocery stores are doing their best to be open so that folks might walk to buy supplies. The apostle Paul reminds us, "My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19 NIV) I know that stories will abound from this region about how God supplied the needs of each day.

I have been reminded that people are important and that God will supply all my needs. However, my most powerful reminder has been that He really is in control. Portlanders have spent hours glued to the news forecast. The storm coverage has preempted regular programming for 5 days. Unfortunately our weather forecasters simply haven't called this one correctly. In fact, their recent words and facial expressions tell us that this has been quite a humbling experience. It is no wonder that they have had such difficulty when the Creator of the Universe is calling the shots!

I have to believe that this week of "stillness" in Portland is no accident.
I have to believe that this week of "stillness" in Portland is no accident. We needed this reminder of who is in control of our world. As I have pondered this reality, I've been faced with two conflicting emotions. First, I've felt fear. What is God preparing us for? Why is this particular message so important for us right now? Secondly, I've felt great relief and peace knowing that no matter what might occur, I have a loving Father who is completely in control.

Jesus' words provide wise counsel for us through this storm and as we resume our hurried lives. "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me." (John 14:1 NIV)