Wow you guys, I feel like I haven’t been on WordPress in months, it’s only been a few days! I’m so sorry if I haven’t been as responsive to comments or read many of your posts. I will catch up, I promise! We spent the past few days fighting for supplies and preparing for the looming hurricane Irma. If you think of it, please pray for our family and community, the state of Florida – heck, just pray for everyone caught in the path of this monster. As of now, Irma is a whopping category 5 hurricane, with sustained winds of 185 mph, earning it the title of strongest hurricane to ever form in the Atlantic (outside of the Gulf and the Caribbean Sea). It may weaken as it gets closer to the U.S, but regardless, if it hits, it’s gonna be ugly.
There is a lot of fear, panic and stress in the air right now, at least here in South Florida. People are rushing, frantically searching for supplies. Lines are forming at gas stations and hardware stores that are backing up traffic for miles. 95 and the Turnpike are already packed, with no gas available to keep those evacuating on their chosen path. Schools are closed, flights cancelled, and prices are rising. We see the destruction caused on the Islands, and so far, no word from Barbuda. We nervously play the waiting game as uncertainty hangs heavily in the humid 104 degree air.
It’s easy to feel trapped here and so completely out of control. No one really knows where and when this beast is going to hit, all we know is, it’s going to be catastrophic. After prayers for Harvey seemed to turn up empty, it seems almost pointless to bother asking for protection.
I don’t know the mind of God, or why he sometimes allows bad things to happen. What I do know, is that nothing happens without his permission, and only God has the ability to use all things, all circumstances for good.
I know that he can use the destruction to bring our very divided country into a united force. I know that he can use his hands and feet here on earth to plant seeds of hope in hearts who may be otherwise hardened to Christ. I know that I can never understand God’s ways, because my human mind is limited.
Most of all, after years of hurricane like circumstances blasting me from every direction, I know that I can trust God.
No matter what it looks like, no matter the devastation my limited vision sees, I know that my God is trustworthy, and that he uses all things for his glory.
As I’ve been reading the Psalms, (more posts to come, I promise) I notice that, while there is definitely a crying out to God, it never stops there. Instead, time and time again, we see a declaration of God’s goodness, and praise for the victory before the battle is even fought.
So today, despite the anxiety surrounding this storm, I choose to trust that my God knows all, sees all, and is weaving his goodness through all. I choose to declare God’s greatness in this storm. I choose to believe that, no matter what the outcome, God’s glory will shine through in the lives of many. I choose to praise him, even now, in the midst of this darkness.
Do you guys remember that post I shared about the wave? The character in the story was terrified of a giant tsunami coming his way, seeing nothing but destruction all around him. He was spared the effects of the wave, and the damage actually cleared a path for him to follow God’s leading. In the end, he realized that it was God’s hand moving in his life that caused the wave. It was God’s hand that opened the pathway to his destiny.
I know this isn’t a popular message. No one wants to hear that lives being wrecked and homes being destroyed could possibly be used for good, much less be God’s will. But rest assured, God can and does so often use the storms of our life to usher in his goodness.
Am I scared? Yes. But I refuse to focus on the waves and the wind today. Today, I choose to focus on the Creator, the One with the power to calm the storm, or lead us to him through it.
“And I will give you treasures of darkness, and hidden wealth of secret places, in order that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.” Isaiah 45:3
“Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side, and keep your foot from being snared.” Proverbs 3:25-26
“Yet, when they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, the Lord brought them out of their distress. He calmed the storm and it’s waves quieted down. So they rejoiced that the waves became quiet, and he led them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his gracious love and for his awesome deeds on behalf of mankind.” Psalm 107:28-31
Thanks guys, that’s all I have for today. We are buttoning down, all our endless waiting in lines and going from store to store searching for supplies is finished, so I should be able to catch up on what God is doing in your lives, and hopefully get in a few more posts before we lose power this weekend.
Keep us in your prayers, if I am AWOL for a while, you’ll know the lights are off for us!