Lord Of The Storms
by Noah Hefley
September 07, 2019
In the small community of Swan Quarters, North Carolina, sits a Methodist church which is more than 150 years old. But the church has not always been in the same spot. The Swan Quarters community is a lowland and is vulnerable to flood waters when torrential downpours descend upon the village. For that reason, the church leaders in 1874 came to Sam Sadler, who owned the only highland in the community, and asked if he would be willing to sell his piece of property to the church. But Sadler refused and claimed he had other plans for the parcel of land.
So the church leaders selected another site in the lowland on which to construct their house of worship. There they built a lovely, white-framed structure on brick pilings to protect it from high water. They dedicated their new church building on September 16, 1876.
Three days later a terrifying hurricane struck the community with violent wind and torrential rain. It destroyed businesses and flooded homes throughout the area. Finally, after more than a day of this stormy barrage, when the rain finally ceased and winds calmed, the townsfolk began to emerge from their shelters, and were stunned by an amazing sight.
Their new church was floating in more than five feet of water, completed intact, down Oyster Creek Road to the main street of Swan Quarter. The floodwaters had gently lifted the entire structure off its pilings. As the church floated down the road, the townsfolk hurriedly moved through the neck-deep water with ropes in a vain attempt to halt its movement. But there was nothing solid to moor the lines to, and so the tiny church continued its journey down the road in the center of town. As dozens watched helplessly, the Swan Quarters Methodist Church suddenly made a sharp right turn off the Oyster Creek Road and continued in a new direction. For another two blocks, the church moved on until it settled on high ground. There it stopped, amazingly, on the same spot that they had tried to purchase from Mr. Sadler two years earlier. The owner who had once refused to sell the property, now shaken by the mysterious turn of events, changed his mind and gave the land to the church the very next day. The small church remains there to this very day.
God works in mysterious ways! Our Lord sometimes rides the storms to bring us blessings amidst times of suffering. He comes to us and speaks a reassuring word to us, “Take courage, it is I, don’t be afraid” (Matthew 14:27). And we find ourselves confessing with the early disciples, “Truly you are the Son of God” (Matthew 14:33).
He who rides the storms knows, as well, how to use the storms to move us to higher ground and to lift us to new heights. He is the Lord of the storms! Blessed be the Name of the Lord!
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