Down here in Florida, we just witnessed our first hurricane in eleven years and while many of us were spared from everything but some heavy rain and wind gusts, some saw major destruction to their property, particularly those adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico. And now the storm, originally expected to go out to sea off the Southeast Coast is instead causing some havoc up the Eastern Seaboard. We all hope that those who were in harm's way are safe and secure now and able to get their lives back to normal quickly.
Life itself can be very much like a storm. From upbeat and wonderful to destruction, despair and hardship, things can change very quickly. Sometimes our personal storms come for no reason we can understand and at other times they come from our own recognized mistakes and sin. Regardless of the cause, hope is available and there is great reason to weather on and work hard to make things better, for that is what God wants from us and it is the reason He gave us a very special gift to help us live in His image.
Before Jesus walked on this earth as both a man and a God approximately two thousand years ago, there was no forgiveness from sin. Man was expected to live godly at all times and he always failed. We still fail today no matter how hard we try because we are mortal and imperfect. Only our Lord Jesus was a perfect man since he was also God.
Jesus was God's answer to the weakness of man. When He gave His life on the Cross as ordained by God, He took on all of the sins of the world: past, present and future. And that, my friends, is our reason for hope. For the moment He breathed out His last human breath on that horrible Cross on Golgotha, we were forgiven and there was only one thing left for us to do to receive that forgiveness. That requirement exists today for all of us if we want that gift and it's a simple request but sometimes hard to grasp. It is that we must accept His offer and dedicate our life to Him by believing in Him.
Sounds easy, right? Well, the fact that we make the commitment and decide to follow it does make things easier because we recognize Him for who He is. But since we are still mortals we will continue to fight the battle against temptation and that requires us to invoke the Holy Spirit who resides within us. It is an ongoing battle and we will make mistakes, but if we continually refresh the Spirit through prayer and meditation, Bible reading and participating in the Christian community present in His House, we can do it and the gift is, well, it is heavenly. Eternal life awaits.
So don't be fearful of the storm that life can be. Get right out there in it, ask God to direct and guide you and the fruits of your efforts and your labors will be beyond your most heavenly dreams. Happy Sunday, everybody.