First Presbyterian Church Fort Dodge


Austin's Update 5/17

Posted by Austin Hill on

I’m writing this article the day after our big storm. Now they’re saying that tonight we’ll have a big storm too. So by the time you read this, there may be two days after a big storm. The first night of storms took place on our ministry team night.

I had finished up at our last meeting. Ignoring the advice of a friend about an incoming storm, I had stayed longer, shooting the breeze with another friend. “Leaving now” I texted Sara, as I got in the car at 8:37pm, lightning crashing in the sky above me.

After close to eight years in Iowa, I felt a little like the boy who cried “wolf.” There have been so many storm warnings and the weekly sirens and dulled my senses. “I’ll be fine,” I thought, going the long way home, hoping to pick up some McDonalds.

In the time it took to reach 5th Ave South from our church, driving had become almost impossible. Tree branches were falling to the street, my wipers moving in full force, and I still could not see the road in front of me. Creeping across the 5th Ave south bridge toward the hospital with emergency flashers on, I saw a big flash to my left and everything went dark. The power cut out all around me. I did not want to continue driving in the darkness across the bridge, but I also did not want to stay there. The wind buffeted my car and I wanted to find shelter.

Inching my way further, I finally made it to the Casey’s by Iowa Central and parked under the overhang. Even there, the car continued to be pelted by the rain and rocked back and forth from the wind. Still, I was thankful for the shelter.

I am reminded of the Scripture passage, Hebrews 6:19: We have this hope as an anchor for the soul. Oh how I wished for an anchor last night while the wind tossed my car around on the bridge. I was fortunate last night that everything turned out alright. I know that wasn’t the case for others. Some lost their vehicles, portions of their homes, or were event displaced from their houses.

Life can change so quickly, can’t it? In a matter of minutes our confidence can vanish, we can be shaken to the core. Storms come, families vanish, jobs change, health declines. Stability erodes. Yet we have this hope as an anchor for the soul.

At the risk of sounding trite, we Christians should be the most hopeful people around. The words of Hebrews 6 were not written in a vacuum. Rather, they were written to people experiencing real, intense suffering. But Christ was their hope. And Jesus continues to be our hope, our anchor in times of turbulence.

Every one of us will experience stormy times and one point or another. Even as Christians, the storms will come. Jesus doesn’t magically make everything better, but he is our anchor. When moored to him, we have a reference point. We are “pressed but not crushed, struck down but not destroyed.” We have an inconceivable hope because we know there’s always more to the story. No matter how bad it gets (and it can get terrible!) the best is still yet to come.

Consider the worst times in your life. How was God present through them? In what ways did Jesus provide an anchor for your soul? This month, share a story of how Jesus gives you hope with somebody you know.



Austin D. Hill