This past Tuesday evening, Rhonda and I took a break from installing our storm shutters on the parsonage windows for the first time so that I could give the invocation at the Dickinson City Council meeting. My prayer began with the first verse of Isaac Watts’ hymn “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” - how appropriate as Hurricane Laura was growing into a Category 4 hurricane, just a few miles-per-hour short of a Category 5. After City Council, I texted the senior and associate pastors of Beaumont First United Methodist, telling them Dickinson First would be able to help should they need it. Both had already evacuated under a mandatory order, but were thankful I had reached out. Ultimately, Hurricane Laura made landfall in a Louisiana parish with a population of 7,000 people, then covered 30 miles of marsh land before even reaching a population center, blessedly different from a Beaumont or Galveston landfall.
Watts’ hymn is a paraphrase of Psalm 90, a song of praise itself. In just a few words, Watts weaves three thoughts throughout the first verse:
- Time (past, future, and eternity)
- Our relationship with God
Watts also expands on our relationship with God:
- Our help
- Our hope
- Our shelter
- Our home
Today, please be in prayer for those who may need help after this storm, or hope, or shelter, or a new home. And remember that we haven’t even reached the peak of hurricane season, yet - that’s another two weeks away. Be prepared and stay safe!