A few years ago, we began to make plans for a freedom celebration in White County with professional fireworks, vendors, games, and entertainment. It was our first year, and we and the county administration had planned for every possible scenario, except a tornado warning.
Around 4 p.m., two storms converged on top of our celebration and everything was either struck by lightning, soaked or washed, and blown away. Despite the storm, people kept coming, and, after a frantic reassembly, everything proceeded wonderfully. At the end of the night the sky was illuminated with a show of freedom. Our plans were altered because of the storm but our victory wasn’t.
In the summer of 1776, plans were diverted but victory continued as scheduled for our newly-established America. The Declaration of Independence was completed and signed into law, and, the following month, the British were on the attack in New York. General Washington was outnumber 4 to 1 and found himself trapped with his back against the sea, with no means of escape. That’s when God formulated a storm to usher in a chilling wind, thus keeping the British fleet from entering the East River.
Taking advantage of this great fortune, Washington began to evacuate his entire army. Throughout the day and into the night, they moved horses, cannons, and soldiers across the river to safety under the cover of the storm and the darkness. However, as the sun began to rise, they calculated it would take at least three more hours to move the remaining troops by ferry across the river. That’s when a dense fog began to form. It was reported that the fog was so heavy you couldn’t see past a few yards. Under the cover of the miraculous fog, Washington was the last to step onto the ferry to safety. When the fog lifted the British found that the continental army had simply vanished, leaving nothing behind. God had saved American freedom with a storm and dense fog.
In the Old Testament book of Joshua, the Lord brought a great victory to Joshua and his army. They were outnumbered tremendously as they needed more time to complete their battle. Joshua prayed for the sun to stand still, and God granted his request then, in chapter 10, brought a storm upon the enemy and destroyed them with hailstones from the sky. God killed more of the enemy through his storm than he did through many swords.
Victory and defeat reside in the same boat. In the New Testament book of Matthew chapter 8, the disciples were greatly fearful when they found themselves about to be consumed by a storm, while holding onto life in a small boat on a raging sea. Jesus rises and rebukes the storm, and the turmoil around them just stopped with his spoken word. The same fear that spoke death from the mouths of the disciples rode side by side with the same Jesus that spoke peace. Our seating position in the boat is not what determines our victory. Our victory comes when we find the peace speaker is right there with us.
You may be in your storm right now. Maybe God has allowed the wind and the fog so he can use it to bring victory. Without a storm 245 years ago, our country may have died in its infancy on that river bank along with our great general. Just because we can’t see to fight doesn’t mean that God can’t. If he can take 8,000 troops across a storm-raged, fog- covered river to preserve victory, then he can walk you through yours.
We’re Christpoint Church on the square in Sparta. We would love to see you at 9 a.m. or 11 a.m., this Sunday morning. We’re real people, living real lives, serving a real God. Welcome home.