In The Storm

Jimmy Dodd |

Dear Friends,
If I were to make a list of the ten things I fear, landing during a severe thunderstorm
would be near the top of the list. When I say ‘thunderstorm’ I am not talking about
a few bumps in the midst of a rain shower during final approach. I am talking about
a landing when you can’t imagine how the wings remain attached to the body. I’m
talking about a storm so severe, that if you weren’t wearing your seatbelt, you would
be thrown against the ceiling of the plane. A flight filled with so many sudden drops,
that you are thankful the barf bag in the seatback pocket is nearby. A flight when, upon
landing, the entire plane bursts into spontaneous applause! I’m talking about a near
death experience! That kind of storm.

Here’s the craziest thing! I was on two such flights, both landing in Kansas City, in a
five-day span! Twice I thought I was teetering on the brink of tragedy – in less than one
week. And the two flights, equally frightening, could not have been more different.
And what made the difference? The pilot’s voice.

On my first thunderstorm landing, as the plane was tossed about like a paper airplane
in the midst of a hurricane, the captain regularly came on the intercom to assure the
passengers that all was well. His voice was incredibly calm. There was no indication
that anything was wrong. He evenly, in an almost serene voice, assured the passengers
that the bumps were normal during a storm, and he would soon have us safely on the
ground. His voice was pastoral! He was personable, assured, confident and composed.
As he spoke, a calm washed over the plane.

On the second flight, the captain said nothing! People were literally screaming for fear
that we were going down – and the pilot uttered not one word. And on that flight – I
was admittedly scared. Any word of reassurance would have been a gift! But it never
came. Maybe that pilot was as fearful as the rest of us! The silence only increased the
apprehension the passengers collectively experienced. What a difference!!

Thank God that He speaks to us in the midst of life’s most severe storms. On the
darkest day, when I am being tossed about by this world’s confusing trials, God
gently reminds me that He is present. In Psalm 83:1, the Psalmist cries out to
God, asking Him to not be silent in the midst of the storm. In the valleys of life, we
desperately wait for a word from the Lord, assuring us of His divine presence. Praise
God that the scriptures repeatedly remind us that the Lord is with us in the midst of the

Nahum 1:7 tells me that “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; He
knows those who take refuge in Him.” Isaiah 25:4 says, “For You have been a strong
place for those who could not help themselves and for those in need because of much
trouble. You have been a safe place from the storm and a shadow from the heat.” In
Psalm 62:5-8 the Psalmist (like a calm pilot) says, “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress; I will
not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my
refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our

In the midst of the storm, God is there! In the darkest night, the Lord is present.
In the most painful depths of fear, God is our refuge and our strength. And He has
graciously given us His Word to remind me of each of these truths. God is not silent!
At PastorServe, we regularly remind pastors and ministry leaders that the Lord is ever
present. In the midst of life’s trials, God has never left us, even for a moment. Jacob,
at the end of his pain filled life, blesses the sons of Joseph and in doing so makes the
amazing declaration that the Lord has been his shepherd, every moment of every day
all throughout his life (Genesis 48:15). At times, pastors are so deep in the storm, they
need a friend to help them listen to the message of the Lord. We at PastorServe are
honored to often be that friend.

Thank you for your partnership with PastorServe that allows us to be a calming voice of
truth in the midst of life’s storms. We could not do the work of this ministry apart from
friends like you.

In the Storm with Jesus, 

Jimmy Dodd

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