Summary: I was riveted before the television on Sunday watching every movements of the monster hurricane Irma. I was awestruck by the destructive power of this colossal hurricane as it crossed from shore to shore destroying everything in its path without any mercy
I was riveted before the television on Sunday watching every movements of the monster hurricane Irma. I was awestruck by the destructive power of this colossal hurricane as it crossed from shore to shore destroying everything in its path without any mercy. Everywhere the storm went the result was destruction and desolation. This made me to reflect on the storms of life as we all have to face such storms in our lifetime. It is not a matter of IF but WHEN as Jesus himself said in the parable, “I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.”
So is your house storm proof? Here are some fascinating truths I learnt from watching the path of this destructive hurricane.
The greatest threat – Storm surge
The number one danger in an hurricane is not the wind but drowning due to storm surge. A storm surge is a gradual rise in the water level caused by a major storm’s wind as it gets closer to shore. So while you take steps to protect your house from the forceful winds of the hurricane, be also aware of the dangers of flood and ensure you build it at a level that floods cannot reach. In order to make your house storm proof, make sure it is built on a strong foundation as well as at the right altitude. Paul said, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Let’s make sure we are living in an altitude where our eyes are upon the Lord all the time so we can withstand any levels of storm surge.
The tail is coming… calm before the storm
The eye wall is the most devastating region of the hurricane. This is the location within a hurricane where the most damaging winds and intense rainfall is found. Because of the shape of the eye there can be a “wall” in the front and in the back. In between those regions there can be a small window of respite from winds before the back end of the “wall” strikes with vengeance. It is often the back end of the “wall” that brings the storm surge as the front wall recedes the water from the sea. Some people in Tampa went to the beach to take pictures as soon as the wind died after the front wall crossed. But they were warned about the surge and asked to go back to their shelters. Not long after that the surge came and in some places rose up to 10 ft above sea level.
Always “Watch and pray” and never take any peaceful and prosperous time for granted. It was during a peaceful time David got distracted and committed adultery which brought havoc upon his family. I recently came across a powerful quote from a book: “Prosperous times produce passive wills. Passive wills produce overpowering emotions. Overpowering emotions produce perverse thoughts. Perverse thoughts produce private sin. Private sin results in public consequences.” What a powerful truth that is!
Peter warned us, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
You can’t fight all the time. A time to fight and a time to “evacuate”
Due to the severity of the hurricane, there was a mandatory evacuation order in Florida and this was the greatest evacuation in the history of United States. We always need to pay attention to the orders from the authorities and governments above us and take steps accordingly. Although there is no storm that can be powerful before our God, sometimes God will ask us to “evacuate” rather than to fight against it. When David saw that philistines are coming to fight against Keilah (1 Samuel 23), he inquired of the Lord and the Lord answered him, “Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into your hand.” David got a resounding victory! Immediately after that, Saul came after David to that city Keilah. So David asked the Lord again, “Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me and my men to Saul?” And the Lord said, “They will.” So David had to escape and live in the wilderness strongholds and in the hills of the Desert. David never assumed that God will give victory from Saul since he got victory over Philistines. Even Jesus’ parents were given instructions by an angel to escape to Egypt because Herod was searching for the child to kill.
This “evacuation” instruction from the Lord is not out of fear of the storm as no storm can stand against our God and “fear” has no place in his Kingdom. But it is out of the sovereignty of God who knows the best way to protect us and at the same time to teach us some important lessons.