Summary: While we wait for the hurricane that is coming in from the Gulf of Mexico, I am reminded of another storm that is coming also; the storm of the wrath of God upon a sinful world.
THE STORM ON THE HORIZON
By Pastor Jim May
People all along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico are nervous this morning. They are nervous because of an approaching visitor by the name of Katrina. But this isn’t some long lost relative coming to pay a friendly visit. Katrina is a dangerous hurricane bringing the promise of widespread destruction, power outages and the chance for a few tornadoes. There is still some uncertainty as to where Katrina will go and who will be hit the hardest so we are all watching the sky today, waiting, watching and praying, hoping that God, in His great mercy, will cause the storm to weaken and turn away.
I know that most people don’t read the Bible but I think that they must have read Psalms 55:8 where David says, "I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest." What they fail to read is a scripture that is found a little later in Psalms 107:29, "He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still."
People are making preparation for what is coming. Stores are emptying quickly of all necessities. There are long lines of people buying water, food, bread and gasoline and most of those things are now in short supply. Many have reacted to voluntary evacuation from unsafe areas and have sought out safe havens in local hotels and with family and friends. There are no more vacancies in hotels for many miles around, as the refugees from the lowlands are pouring in to escape the wrath of Katrina.
If you have waited until after service this morning to go get what you need, I wish you the best, but don’t expect to get all that you want. The fear that grips the heart of people as this storm approaches, causes them to spend all they have, buy all they can get, and stock up like there will be no tomorrow.
There’s nothing wrong with preparation. In fact, only a fool would ignore the presence of the storm, and not do what he has to do to protect and provide for his own family and property. I hope that all of you are prepared or will be prepared by tomorrow when the storm is due to arrive.
I’ve weathered a number of hurricanes over the years. I can remember Audrey of 1957. I was only 9 years old but I can still remember the house shaking as a large oak tree fell not too far from the house. It was all an adventure back then. But since those days, I have learned a healthy respect for what a hurricane can bring. I remember Hurricane Betsy in 1965. She blew through town with a rage and delayed the start of my senior year in high school by several days. Then there was Andrew of 1992, one of the strongest storms on record, that blasted through town and took all of the shingles off my house with it, causing a lot of water damage and generally, just messing up things everywhere for a while. There were also a number of smaller storms too. None were much fun and some were outright frightening. I thank God that He saw us through them all.
I’m so glad that we have men and women in the Air Force and Coast Guard who fly “Hurricane Hunter” aircraft to track the storms and give us early warnings. I wonder how it must have been before the days when we were able to see them coming from so far away? I wonder how many people were caught in the old days, without warning and without time to prepare?
Thank God, we have instruments and people in place that can give us plenty of warning of the approaching storm.
For days, we have watched this hurricane track from the Caribbean, across the tip of Florida, and now into the central Gulf of Mexico. Anyone who doesn’t know of its coming is simply out of touch with reality because the news is everyone and on the lips of every body in the area. You can’t turn on the radio, the TV, or read the newspaper, or even listen to a conversation without hearing about it.
Simply put, we have had, and continue to have, plenty of warning, and plenty of time to prepare. The storm is on the horizon, and it will surely come, unless God intervenes, so get ready for its coming.
As I watch the news and keep an eye on the weather, I can’t help but think of those who are listening.
Some are local residents who have lived here for a long time and have been through this before as I have.
Some are new to the region, and they have never been through a storm like this before, so they face it with apprehension, but also with a bit of curiosity, not really knowing what to expect.