Hurricane Ida was one of the most destructive hurricances to hit the United States. The damage is still being assessed. Over a million people are still without power. Many communities may never be fully restored.
On Saturday night, as the storm approached, the eye of the storm was projected to pass directly over our house.
That was sobering.
Thankfully (for us) the storm shifted twenty miles to our east, lessening the impact in our area…though, unfortunately, increasing the impact elsewhere.
Sitting here three days after the storm, a few thoughts have crossed my mind.
- Life can change very quickly. On Thursday morning, I was planning to play golf with a friend on Monday morning. By Thursday afternoon, I was beginning to prepare for a major hurricane. The storm developed quickly…and life changed quickly. We are always one day away from a life-altering event…thus we should appreciate every day as a gift.
- We are not as strong as we think we are. A storm of this magnitude reminds you of your smallness. The power of 150 mph winds, the force of storm surge, the energy inherent in a hurricane, all testify to a power way beyond us.
- Technology cannot save us. Technology and science are wonderful. They make our lives better and more convenient. But in the case of a storm, they can only tell us the details of the storm. They cannot stop it.
- Fear is crippling. Speaking of technology…all the details of the storm only make our fears increase. Watching the Weather Channel is almost hypnotizing. We are drawn in to fear. Something inside of us knows that we are vulnerable…and something inside of us longs for some type of salvation.
- We need family and friends. In the aftermath of a storm, it is vital to have family, friends, neighbors, and a church that can help. We like to think we are independent and can handle things on our own…but that is simply not true.
- We are losing a sense of community. Neighbors helping neighbors seems to be a fading memory. We are becoming increasingly isolated. Few people even know their neighbors today…much less trust them.
- Government is limited. With the breakdown of the family and the loss of community, people are becoming more and more dependent on the help of the government. For many people, the government is literally their only safety net. But government is limited. They can provide some assistance but they can’t solve a person’s deepest needs in the midst of a tragedy.
- The further the solution is from the problem, the less reliable and helpful it is. Piggybacking on the above point…government is limited because it really isn’t close enough relationally to know what the true needs are. Thus, either the true needs are not met or corruption enters the picture through the hands of intermediaries. We need people next to us through a storm not sitting in an office in DC.
- We are more dependent on electricity and water than we realize. Being without power for one or two days is inconvenient but doable. Longer days and weeks without power, and without a reliable water supply, begin to show how dependent we are on these things. It creates panic. It evokes anger. It exposes selfishness. And it cripples all of life.
- We are more dependent on God than we realize. We like to think that we are in control…but we are not. We never really are. The universe runs on a power that is infinitely stronger than us and beyond us. We can’t control the rotation of the earth or the orbit around the sun. We can’t even control the basic processes of our own bodies…the beating of the heart, the oxygenization of the blood, the functioning and regeneration of our 50 trillion cells. We are contingent creatures…dependent every day on our Creator who sustains us.
- Creation is groaning. Every disaster…every disease…every death reminds us that there is something desperately wrong with our world…something that government, science, technology, or education can’t fix. We live in a world impacted by sin. A broken world. And only a Savior with power over sin and death can save us.
- Our only true hope is Jesus Christ. Maybe it sounds like a cliche, but every storm…every tragedy…every death reminds me that I need a hope beyond the grave. I need a Savior who can calm the storms. I need a Savior who can change hearts. I need a Savior who can conquer death. I need a Savior who loves me enough to die for me…and to carry me through the difficulties of life. And there is only One…Jesus Christ.
Storms have a way of interrupting life and giving us time to reflect. They teach us what really matters…and what really does not.
I am thankful that this storm reminded me why I have put my faith in Jesus Christ.
He is sufficient for any storm.
And He is sufficient for me.
I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages. (Charles Spurgeon)