My Church was seriously damaged by Hurricane Harvey . . . my town was seriously damaged by Hurricane Harvey . . . my beautiful home was seriously damaged by Hurricane Harvey . . . my senior citizen apartments were seriously damaged by Hurricane Harvey . . . the landscaped yard I have labored on and spent much money on over the past 30 years was ripped to shreds . . . and is now bare!
We obeyed a mandatory evacuation order and left until the storm passed and we were told it was okay to return. The destruction was so wide-spread and the damage so great that I actually wept as we arrived in town on our re-entry. Everywhere I looked, I saw people’s dreams and possessions trashed out and laying about.
As we pulled up to our home and looked at the damage, Sandy patted me on the arm and lovingly reminded me, “Honey, it is just stuff.” I smiled and replied, “I know . . . but it is our stuff . . . stuff we worked for . . . stuff we wanted.”
People’s lives have been seriously impacted by Hurricane Harvey . . . in so many ways . . . on so many levels . . . in so many places along the upper coast.
Then, there is a major hurricane bearing down on Florida and perhaps the East Coast . . . her name is Irma . . . and she was being billed as the “most powerful storm ever on the planet. The even sadder news is that there was still another hurricane, Jose, some distance behind Irma.
When a natural disaster like this occurs, there are some who scoff and openly challenge and taunt . . . asking, “Where is God?” My answer is a polite yet strong, “God is right where He has always been . . . doing what He has always done at this time of the year. Here are a few truths to help you understand the cycle:
- The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th . . . and it tends to peak about the first part of September, but still there have been a few storms of note even in October.
- Planet Earth is a big ball and there are people living on both sides of this big ball with alternating seasons of the year. As summer fades into fall in the USA, spring fades into summer elsewhere.
- God uses hurricanes to gather and move the heat from the Deep South and transfer it to the North in order to melt the snow and ice . . . and break the winter for other regions. If God didn’t do this, then the other folks would live in brutal conditions endlessly. Can you even imagine temperatures of 100 degrees below zero all year long in places like Fairbanks, Alaska?
- There is nothing wrong with God or His method of global climate control . . . the problem rests with me and others like me. The simple truth is that we came to the Coast for a visit and took a serious liking to it, and throwing caution to the wind (literally), we moved here and built or purchased a home and raised our families . . . smack dab in the middle of hurricane alley.
So in conclusion, God is simply doing what He has always done . . . managing the ebb and flow . . . the very rhythm of His beautiful creation. Meanwhile, mankind is pretty much doing what he has always done . . . making poor decisions . . . getting himself into hot water . . . and crying out to God for rescue and deliverance.
There is a rhythm in man’s staying, stumbling, failing, suffering consequences . . . and crying out to God for protection, provision, deliverance, forgiveness, peace, rest, and restoration. Of course, God is faithful in all things, and He is certainly faithful in responding to a confessing sinner.
There are several passages in the Bible that indicate that God both forgives and forgets our sin. Isaiah 43:25 says, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” Hebrews 10:14-18 explains how Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for sin was a once-and-for-all sacrifice. Unlike the sacrificial system of the Old Testament, in which sacrifices were continually made for sin, Jesus paid for sin once. His payment was complete. That passage says, “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says, “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he adds, “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more. And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.”
Psalms 103:1-12 describes this ebb and flow with man and his Creator.