While watching the devastation during Hurricane Harvey I said, “Why did those people not evacuate when they orders were given? I promise if there was a hurricane headed at me, I’d be out of there.”
And yet, I am at Disney World and Hurricane Irma is headed at me.
God makes me eat my words so often, I’ve almost gotten used to the bitter taste.
As a Christian, I know that I am suppose to have faith.
And I do.
But as a human, I want to know the reason.
I want to understand why God has placed me and two of my precious children in the path of a hurricane. And if he’d just let me know that I’m here to tell the people in room 4633 about the amazing love of Jesus and bring them to know Him, then I’d be good. I’d head straight there and take care of business.
But He’s given me no such message.
Instead, I’m just here in what feels like an extremely dangerous situation with no real reason as to why.
Interestingly enough, I just started the First Five Bible study Suffering and Sovereignty and it’s all about Job right now.
Ya’ll know the story of Job?
Here’s a quick summary.
He was “blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.” (Job 1:1 ESV) He’d been blessed with a big family and great wealth. Satan and God were talking, and Satan said that Job was only faithful because God had been good to him. God said that Satan could do whatever he wanted to Job and that Job would still be faithful. So Satan did. In one day, all of his children died and he lost all of his wealth. He was later plagued with painful sores all over his body. His wife blamed God. Job’s friends said he must have some secret sin that God was punishing him for.
And through all of that, “Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.” (Job 1:22 ESV)
Job had no idea what God was using him for.
He didn’t know any of the heavenly talk that had happened.
He only knew that he’d lost everything. And despite being at the lowest point of anyone ever, he still loved and trusted God.
So, I can trust God during this hurricane.
But, I am not trusting Him to deliver me through this hurricane safely. I don’t think my safety is God’s primary concern. My safety, my comfort, my happiness always take a back seat to His Glory and my holiness. Here is what my trust in Him looks like.
I Trust in His Presence
I KNOW that whatever happens in the next few hours and days, He is with us.
I need no more confirmation of His presence than the fact that I am totally at peace.
In the course of a typical day, I plan and micromanage everything and struggle to find peace. I look at the arrangement of the fruit on display on the kitchen counter and wonder, Do they look natural like that or too arranged?
And yet, here I am at the edge of a storm that is throwing an entire state into disarray and we are cuddling with these sweet little girls as if nothing is wrong. God’s presence brings that kind of peace, and only God’s presence brings that kind of peace.
I Trust in His Purpose
These weather conditions have not taken God unaware. He hasn’t been napping. He knows what is coming and He has a plan.
When the disciples woke Jesus during a storm on the Sea of Galilee, He asked why they were afraid and didn’t they have faith. Ultimately, it helped to build the faith of His disciples. Sometimes storms do that.
Earlier today we spoke with a lady from Canada who was on edge. She was looking for a place to get coffee. If ever there was a person who needed a cup of coffee, it was her. Chip didn’t have coffee to give her, but he had the opportunity to pray with her. So he prayed. When we saw her later she was holding a cup of coffee and holding herself together.
There are going to be millions of people impacted by this storm and millions of opportunities to share the love of Jesus through it.
I Trust His Power
I don’t know how Irma will shake out.
I don’t know if we will make it through unharmed.
I don’t know if we will be trapped in our hotel room or trapped in Orlando because of canceled flights.
What I do know is that God has a plan and the power to make that plan happen. If we are trapped then it will be for His Glory and our eternal good.
Captain, my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me. Captain, that is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave. – Stonewall Jackson
Update 9/11/17: We made it through the hurricane completely unharmed. It was a very long night listening to the howling winds and trees cracking and calming down little girls. But besides broken trees, most of our resort is intact. They are still serving food and one of the pools was reopened this afternoon.