"Hurricane Dorian weakens but remains extremely dangerous hurricane, Wilmington impacts likely." "Florence memories spur early Dorian preparation." These were today's headline! If you have been to the store you already knew this. Anxieties are heightened. A hurricane is a storm with a violent wind. That is what a lot of people are witnessing right now. Why do we have to go through these times? Have you ever noticed how many of the stories of God's mercy involve people being in a storm in the sea? We are so out of control in a storm in the sea. We have no other choice than to call on God!
God brought a sudden windstorm down on the boat Jonah was traveling in. The sailors in the boat with him became so terrified they cried out to their gods. Eventually, at Jonah's word, they through him overboard and the storm suddenly stopped! I like what the Bible says next: Jonah 1:16, "At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him." I bet they had an eye opening encounter! They died to themselves and were brought to their knees before God. Because they were caught in a storm at sea.
When Paul was being transported to Rome they were caught in a storm at sea. They would not listen to Paul's warnings about not venturing out. Because of the storm, even the Roman centurion was taking orders from the apostle Paul! Paul prayed and the lives of all 276 persons on board were spared. God got everyone's attention through the storm at sea!
Matthew 8: 23-24, "Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping." Jesus' disciples were facing what could be described as a hurricane of their own. it was a sudden and unexpected storm. They did not have the technology we have now. Nor could they call and check on their families. Imagine how scared they were. The boat was covered with waves. But Jesus was asleep! Jesus, God in the flesh, was in the boat with them and that calmed them. They trusted Him. He was present in the boat and His presence made all the difference in the world!
We are so out of control with this hurricane. We are like the helpless boats being tossed around in a sea of waves! Wondering if we are going to be thrown overboard. Jesus is in this hurricane with us. He never leaves us. Hebrews 13: 5, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." His presence makes all the difference for us. We can trust that He will take care of us. Isaiah 46: 4, "I am your God and will take care of you until you are old and your hair is gray. I made you and will care for you; I will give you help and rescue you." (GNT)
God can use the storms in our lives to accomplish His purposes. We often think it would be better if we never went through a storm. We think life always should be easy. But there are things we learn in storms. There are things we learn in hardships and crises that we don’t learn anywhere else. Where there are no trials in life, there are no triumphs.
As this hurricane approaches I was worried about Sarah flying home. Of course, she was to fly home Thursday (the day Dorian is scheduled to hit) for ten days! We were looking forward to lots of fun in the sun and boating. I am sure next week I will be able to tell you we had lots of time in the Son! Hurricanes actually give us time in the Son! I imagine God hears from people he never hears from! So much good can come from these hard times. Keep thanking God for the hard times that make us grow!