- Hurricane Ian created a path of destruction this week across Cuba and the Florida pan handle before heading to South Carolina and landing there Friday.
- Hurricane Fiona decimated Puerto Rico last weekend. Millions are still without electricity.
- The Tsunami in Thailand in 2004 inspired a movie and people still talk about it.
- A flood in my house in 2020 took 9 months to put my house back together again.
- Two homes ago, when it rained longer than 11 hours, water started to seep into the house and I would wet vac for hours through the night to keep the water at bay.
Water can wreck havoc.
Father, care for every individual impacted by Hurricane Ian this week. Forgive us for the tendency to forget about the lingering aftermath of hurricanes like Fiona while we contend with Ian today. Rebuild Puerto Rico as they fear being forgotten. Calm the current storms, protect life, and don’t let us forget to keep praying once storms are “over.” Amen
God protects us in the waters.
One of my favorite verses uses a water analogy: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isaiah 43:2)
I attended a funeral last Sunday and watched a family passing through the fresh waters of grief. Thank you for the promise that you will be with them. As they pass through the rivers, thank you that you will not let the rushing waters sweep over them.
Three gospels record the miracle of Jesus standing and calming the storm.
Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!” (Matthew 8:23–27, and also Mark 4:35–41, Luke 8:22–25).
The Spirit hovered over the waters.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. (Genesis 1:1) Many view the creation process as God calling order out of chaos, which is what He does for each of us as we walk with Him. In reverse, the flood dismantled order. Perhaps that is why there is no mention of the ocean in the description of the new heaven and new earth in Revelation 21-22, just the “river of the water of life” in Revelation 22:1.
Water does not slip through God’s fingers.
As the saying goes, “If you want to experience miracles, you have to be in a situation that needs one.” I am certain God has shown up in mighty and protective ways to so many who are crying out. As we suffer from water intruding in places it does not belong, let’s not lose sight of the majority of days when water stays in its place because of God’s hand: “Who kept the sea inside its boundaries as it burst from the womb, and as I clothed it with clouds and wrapped it in thick darkness? For I locked it behind barred gates, limiting its shores. I said, ‘This far and no farther will you come. Here your proud waves must stop!’ (Job 38:8-11)
People need our help.
In the prayer offered above, I asked forgiveness for forgetting the long-lasting effects of prior hurricane devastation. As I prayed for survivors of Ian this week, I realized I had already forgotten about Fiona. Ever determined, I kept praying for both! After our house flooded in 2020, there was a flurry of help from companies and neighbors at first, but as the months stretched on people lost touch with my reality. I was asked how I liked my new downstairs paid for with insurance money and then hear their surprised responses when I said we were still living on a concrete slab and our furniture was in storage. For the family that attended a funeral last Sunday, the true test of their faith will come after funeral guests move on with their lives, but their grief remains.
Let’s remember to pray longer than disasters last. Let’s check-in in with people, be reluctant to cross “urgent” prayer requests off our list, and heed continued promptings by the Spirit to take action.
At the funeral last weekend, the sister of the deceased brother asked us to pull out our phones and enter her name and telephone number in our contact list so we can check-in on her. She knows what is coming and wisely created support. Let’s hope we show up.
And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, [or send a little text] truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” (Matthew 10:42)
I will text her right now.
Do you know anyone in Florida or Puerto Rico? Do you know anyone still grieving or still sick?
Consider checking in.
Picture Explanation: Let’s praise God for all the times water stays in its place, pray for those damaged when water misbehaves, and extend a “cup of water” to all in need.
Note: For those that received multiple copies of last Sunday’s post, I am sorry. I think the website was hacked, though the webmaster does not know what happened. Thank you for your patience. We believe the situation is resolved.
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