The meme slowly moving around Florida right now states: “Waiting for the hurricane is like being stalked by a turtle.”
We’ve not yet had any serious storms this hurricane season, which is June 1 through November 30. However, major hurricanes often happen from mid-August through the end of September.
Enter Hurricane Ian which is approaching a category 5 hurricane. The highest category they identify.
We’ve heard about his progression from a tropical storm to a full-bore hurricane over the past week. The blessing and curse of the Weather Channel–we’re made aware of what’s coming, but since Ian is moving at only ten miles per hour, the wait is agonizingly long. Those on the west coast have been told to evacuate because the winds, rain, storm surge, and flooding will have a huge impact.
Not everyone wants to leave. There are those who eschew the order and hunker down for the duration. They own responsibility for their decision.
The damage is real. The west coast of Florida is getting battered by rain, winds, and floods. Orlando, in the middle of the state, isn’t free from the effects; we’ve been averaging five inches of rain an hour. Our ground is super-saturated from our recent storms, so this will allow for flooding, roof damage, and trees being knocked over because of excess water and wind.
Every storm in life has ripple effects. They’re never solitary in nature.
It’s how we choose to deal with them that makes the difference.
Jesus had been healing many people around the Sea of Galilee, and in His humanity, He was tired. He and His disciples were in a boat heading to the other side of the lake when a huge storm hit. Among them were many fishermen, and they understood the challenge of these strong storms.
Jesus had fallen asleep in the boat. His men were panicking.
“The disciples went and woke Him up, shouting, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’
Jesus responded, ‘Why are you afraid? You have so little faith.’ Then He got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.’ The disciples were amazed. ‘Who is this Man?’ they asked. ‘Even the winds and waves obey Him.’” Matthew 8:25-27
These men had been with Jesus for quite a while. They’d watched Him heal people, feed masses with just a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish, and yet they were clueless as to who He really was.
The storms in our lives push us to places of fear and despair because we feel out of control and without hope. Jesus can choose to calm the storms around us, but more often He chooses to calm those places of distress within us so we may face the unexpected and that which we can’t control with hope in Him.
Nobody can control Hurricane Ian. It’s a force of nature that people can only report on and hopefully help us prepare for.
We have to choose whether we listen to their advice or not.
Storms in life always happen. We can be prepared by allowing Jesus’ power and peace to fill us with hope, or we can go it alone.