Ice Storm

Saturday, April 6, 2019
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Listen while you read: "Father We Thank Thee"1 (Lyrics)

Job 37:9 – The stormy wind comes from its chamber, and the driving winds bring the cold. (NLT)

Drool splattered my cheek. A Bull Mastiff leaned over, wanting his bed back. I opened my eyes and remembered that we were two weeks into the 1998 ice storm, driven from our home, sharing a one-bedroom apartment with six large-breed canines and their owners. Fortunately, the guy with two Huskies went home at night.

Starting on January 4th, freezing rain fell for eighty straight hours in Kingston, Ontario, where I ran a small out-of-print bookshop, living over my business. It was the worst ice storm in living memory — thirty-one people perished. My boiler died and all the in-floor heating pipes froze and broke. It took nearly three months to get someone to put in a new furnace. To repair the damage, we had to remove all the shelving and get rid of most of the books, because there was nowhere to store them. In the meantime, our community credit union offered us their staff room to live in.

By the time we were back in our house and empty shop, we had experienced kindness from one end of town to the other — casseroles, hot soup, and muffins. The worse things got, the more people demonstrated kindness. They were a real lesson to me, taking the ice storm personally.

Acts 28:2 – The people of the island were very kind to us. It was cold and rainy, so they built a fire on the shore to welcome us. (NLT)

God, who does all things well, has plans for our lives, if we listen. At that time, over twenty years ago, my husband had ceased to be a believer. We were no longer in a church fellowship, and I had fallen into a lingering despair, from which there seemed to be no way out. The sunlight of the Spirit seemed to have stopped shining on me. But God, with an ice storm like a heavenly tow truck, yanked me out of that rut, back up onto His highway again. Shortly afterwards, a nearby church, which worked with the homeless, needed help, just as I had been helped by others. As I stepped forward, my husband followed, and the joy of that homecoming has never left me.

What does any great big horrible disaster in our life mean but an opportunity for us to actually experience the hand of God drawing us closer to Him? Always, no matter how awful, God is allowing what happens to teach us, wake us up, and cause us to become the true believers that we long to be.

That ice storm became the touchstone of my life — before and after. Gratitude for what happened, despite all the horror, is the hinge that swings open the gate of thankfulness upon which my daily life in God will forever depend.

Prayer: Dear loving heavenly Father, how grateful we are for disasters that strengthen our faith till our cups run over. Thank You for always leading us through the dark valleys to the green pastures that we may not be able to see at first, as You restore our souls. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Rose DeShaw <>
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you Rose.

    A beautiful story, Rose.

    Incredible story Rose, thanks for sharing!

    Amen Rose very nice devotional. Thank you for uplifting us readers today and reminding us of the goodness of God.

    I’m going to share this with someone who shared his story with me just the other day. I think it will be very encouraging to him and his wife. Thanks for writing. Blessings.

    Hi Rose
    I too remember that ice storm. My family lived in the area. Nasty, but no matter how horrible, God has a way of bringing goodness out of it.
    God bless.

    That was a wonderful testimony and yes, in disasters the wind, rain, snow, ice do show us a power so strong we know that only God can get us out. May you continue on your journey and may the hope of the resurrection make you Easter a great joyful day.

    My husband and I were living in a one-bedroom apartment, just moved into town. My son and his two flat mates were an hour away on the 7th floor of a building with no elevator, water or lights. They made their way to us, and what fun we had for 3 days! Those boys have never forgotten it.

    I remember that ice storm I had friends in the affected area. They were not hit the way Kingston was.
    The Lord does use events like this and having had some difficult experiences lately, I will reflect on your devotional this morning.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Greetings Rose.
    Thanks for this writing and expressing the reassurance we have that our loving God is always with us. We may have storms to face in life but God is there to bring us through and restore times of joy.
    I appreciate your devotionals.

    After reading your devotional, St. Paul’s words came to mind. “For we know that all things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.” Yes, indeed, God reached out from eternity through an awful ice storm to enfold you within His loving embrace. Thank you for sharing this with us. Blessings.

    Good one Rose. I remember that storm. I went with a bunch of people from our congregation in Warkworth, to help with the situation in Kingston!

    Hi Rose,
    I remember that storm as I heard of a church in the area collecting donations. Churches from 2 cities were collecting donations to load a transport truck to take to the Kingston area.
    When I entered to church with my donation it was something to see pews overflowing with blankets, and so many different items, even generators, all collected in less than a week.
    It was wonderful to see so much help for those in need.
    Thank you for bringing back that memory of how we helped in our own little way in such a short time.

    Hi Rose,
    I have heard of people who became, first upset with something which happened in the church, then the Minister and then quit attending worship. Now they have “Lost their faith” As one fellow told me I am now an atheist. It is so hard to talk to them; their mind is made up and they don’t want to be confused with the facts. So good to hear that your husband came back to the faith.
    Thank you for writing this meaningful devotional.

    Dear Rose,
    Thank you for sharing and reminding us once again that in a crisis, the best comes out in most people. When we experience any manner of disaster, people seem to drop their facades to get through this life, and simply want to help others. When we are weak, HE becomes strong, giving out bowls full of fruit of the Spirit through each believer.

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