August is just around the corner and with it comes prime hurricane season for the Atlantic seaboard. The next several months offer the most likely period of active hurricanes affecting our lives this year. Those of you who, like me, have lived in this part of the country for many years know how sudden they can arise and why it is so important to have necessary provisions to survive for days without help. It's not a fun experience but it does make us stronger, force us to focus on what nature can do in a world that often sees itself as being able to solve all things alone, and it helps us to realize the very limits of folly. But it always begs the question: Why does God allow terrible storms like hurricanes to harm and kill people if He is a God of love?
Now we hear this question often, it is used when death hits close to home from a long-term painful illness or even a sudden accident and it is difficult to deal with. And in the case of a hurricane, when suddenly your wonderful life is turned topsy-turvy when the power goes out, the water won't run and you are trapped by a body of water that wasn't there before, major hardships can ensue quickly. But know this, it happens because it is all a part of free will. After all, God created us in His image and He wants us to live as He wishes, but He also has given us the free will to make our own choices. And the choices we make have a lot to do with what happens to us in a time of turmoil like a storm.
I remember as a child in Sunday school singing a song about not building your house on sand. Well, today, many of us live on sandy soil adjacent to powerful bodies of water. And storms are a part of nature. And then, to add to the equation, when God banished Satan from heaven and gave Him freedom to wander the earth and try to sell his evil plans to mankind, each individual impacted gets to make his or her own choice. Do we stand by what God expects of us or do we fall for the fancy promises of the fallen angel before we realize he puts a gold cover on a jaded product? That never works out well but mankind, made up of sinners by nature, is always subject to the temptations that are thrown in his way. It's why God gave us the opportunity for salvation through His son and the support we need through the Holy Spirit who dwells inside us. We just have to open our hearts to let the Son and the Word shine in.
The point is that we live in an imperfect world as imperfect people because we are mere mortals. And only when we recognize this and do something to change it will our outlook change. That doesn't mean that we won't face storms in our life in the future, but it does mean we will have His heavenly grace and love at our side to make the right decisions in weathering those storms. We have the free choice to deal with it any way we want, but take a moment and ponder what that might be. It might just save our life, not just here on earth but eternally.
Dear Lord, We thank you for your love and grace and we ask that you open our heart to you to guide us through the many storms that earthly life can bring. Only you can deliver us from those storms. We ask in Jesus' name, Amen.