Alex Sanfilippo wrote about the storm leading up to its presence in the Southeastern United States last week. He wrote about the Fear, Denial and Faith that comes as a precursor to the storm. So I figured it was only fair to write about a couple of words that came to mind during and after the storm. (If you haven’t read Alex’s post you should click here to do that.)
DURING THE STORM
Describe Hurricane Matthew in one word. Dangerous? Destructive? Scary? Big? Exhausting? Far-reaching? Catastrophic? Deadly? All of these words would work. But when I walked outside during the storm in NE Florida (don’t worry we were in a safe place) only one word came to my mind…
I have always enjoyed storms during the day when I can truly see the power they possess (and feel protected as a result of being able to see what is coming in the daylight). A heavy portion of this storm came through NE Florida in the afternoon of the 7th. As it came through I went out on the front porch of the house I was staying in St. Augustine and just watched the wind gusts push trees back and forth. Not just any trees, but trees that had obviously been there a long time. And the storm doesn’t just move one tree at a time, its power moves EVERY tree.
The only thing I could think about during the storm and seeing its power was the fact that my God is bigger than the storm and has control over it. Which makes Him MUCH more powerful than Hurricane Matthew which was heralded as one of the strongest storms we have experienced in decades.
While there was a fearful respect of Hurricane Matthew, I believe there should be a similar respect for the power of God. The Hurricane was not created for destruction, that is not it’s purpose. Destruction is most often determined by us. Most everything the storm “destroyed” had to have been built by a human at some point. Sometimes we confuse destruction of something in our lives with God’s divine removal of a circumstance or situation. He is powerful enough to get you out of something you shouldn’t be in or change a situation completely for your good… Even if you think it’s “destroying” your life. Maybe you built something up in your life (addiction, bad relationships, etc.) that needs to be torn down. Just know that regardless of how deeply rooted you think these things are in your life, God is POWERFUL enough to uproot them and destroy them.
AFTER THE STORM
Describe the Day After The Storm. Most everyone will come up with the same word here…
One of the beautiful things about the POWER of these types of storms is that God surrounds them with CALM. The CALM before the storm. The CALM after the storm. He even put CALM in the dead center of the storm with the eye of the Hurricane! I think there are specific reasons for each of these…
Calm Before: Prepare for what you know is coming
If you know God needs to remove something from your life, take the steps to prepare for it. Tell your trusted friends about the issue, pray about it, seek guidance from elders, etc. Use the calm before the storm to take steps to make the storm (removal of the issue) not so destructive.
Calm During: Take a deep breath and refocus
If you are in a season where you feel like you are in the middle of a Hurricane. Maybe its financial struggles, or family issues that never end. Just take any moment of calm that you may get to refocus and God and rest just enough to make it through the next wave. God is good to not provide you more than you can handle. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Calm After: Recover, Appreciate the Power and Give Thanks for safety.
God is Good about providing you the time to recognize His power and grace. When God’s power removes something from your life take those moments following its removal to thank Him and realize the power it took to remove it. You can almost always recognize the good that came from it.
So a storm can be two things. Powerful and Calm. The bible doesn’t use the word “calm” a lot to describe God, but Peace is the word I would use… As in the Prince of Peace. Take confidence that Jesus is BOTH All-Powerful (Hebrews 1:3) AND the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).