Over coffee this morning my thoughts and prayers are with those that are in South Florida and the Islands as Irma bears down on them today and throughout the weekend. South Florida holds my two adult children right now, and the islands hold precious memories of impoverished people who do not have the housing we are blessed to have in the States to withstand a storm of this magnitude. I am in prayer for everyone along the coast and in the Islands that God dip his hand in the ocean and create a barrier wall that protects all people everywhere from being harmed by this storm!
I am one of the blessed people in the human population that can say that she has stood in the eye of a hurricane. I grew up in South Florida, in the Hobe Sound & Port St. Lucie areas. I have rode out several hurricanes that passed across Florida in the 12 years I lived there. Many times you just sit inside, pray and pass time with card and board games, and wait to go outside and return your neighbors garbage cans and lawn furniture that the winds blew into your yard. Sometimes there are tree debris and other things to clean up, but for the most part it is bearable.
During the storm it sounds terrible from inside the house. The house shakes, the wind howls, and the shutters bang and buckle with the winds. The power often goes out and by candlelight you just enjoy the company of your family and friends. But sometime in the middle of all that chaos a peace descends, that is if you are fortunate to be in the path of the eye of the hurricane. I have gotten to experience this twice, once in the day and once in the night, it is something only those living on the coast can experience as storms often fall apart over land losing their structure as the land softens their force.
A hurricane is like a huge cyclone made up of bands of storms. The farther away from the eye the less organized and severe are the storms winds, rains and impact. The closer you get to the eye, the greater the intensity grows, making the eye wall the concentration of the storms wrath and fury. Something beautiful happens though once you penetrate the eye wall and are in the actual eye itself, there is a peace and stillness that escapes logic because all around you is total chaos and destruction, but you are standing in total calmness and safety. It’s a powerful moment that as a Christian we can learn from.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7 NIV
It doesn’t matter what is going on around you. It doesn’t matter if the whole world is falling apart. It doesn’t matter that there might be destructive circumstances encircling you that you could never walk through as a mere human being alone, when you are with God you are in the eye, and he gives you a peace that passes all understanding. Your eyes may say all hope is lost and destruction is here and we are doomed….but your heart says “be still and know” and a peace that passes your human understanding falls onto you. Just as in the eye of a hurricane…you are surrounded by peace…despite this gigantic swirling destructive energy that encompasses you. You are safe, protected, and in a calm place when you are in the Lords hands!
The God that can create something of this power and this magnitude, can also give the breeze that a butterfly wing is lifted up upon. He is mighty and great, powerful beyond measure, yet gentle and caring to those that trust in him for their peace and safety. What a great and mighty God we serve! Greatly to be praised in ALL things and more powerful than all hurricanes combined! He holds us all in the palms of his hands and can shelter us from any storm – literally or figuratively- walk with grace knowing you reside in the eye of every storm!
“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” – 2 Peter 1:2 NIV