For the past three or four days, with every mile closer that Sandy has approached, my anxiety level has risen. I 've literally had to take Ativan (an anti-anxiety drug) for the past four days (excluding today). Today, the day of the first few splatters of rain, I woke feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders. Now I know that I have prayed and asked God to minimize this storm, and to turn it in another direction. I know that my God is greater than any storm. I know that I am his child and under his protection. But still I had an anxious heart.
This morning I rushed around doing the last minute things that needed to be done and sweated a gallon or two of perspiration as hot flash after hot flash had its way. Then I decided to go to church. I thought of gathering with my brothers and sisters and focusing our efforts on worshiping our Lord, the God of this storm and the thought was comforting. So I went. The service was wonderful. Worship was awesome. My heart rate settled down. My agita disappeared. I once more felt grounded in the fact that my God is in control and that he loves me and that the people in that church are on assignment by God to take care of those we have contact with who are in need. The grace, strength, and power of God are ours to administer his love to the people on earth.
So you argue, if God loves us so much, why does he send the stupid hurricane in the first place?
1. People need a shaking up....they need something to force them to recognize that THEY are not God and that THEY do not have the control over their world that they think they do.
2. People have to experience need to recognize their need.
3. It gives God's children an opportunity to share God's love with others.
4. It tests our mettle. Forces us to acknowledge that while our "stuff" holds importance for us, it all pales besides the health and lives of those we love.
5. It brings us to the place where it's just God and us and if we are to have any mercy , any protection, it must come from the hand of God alone. He needs to get us to see that. and finally
6. It gives God a means of punishing sin in a minor "wake up call" manner before "the big one drops" and we all ultimately have to face him as our Judge and Master. These are all incredibly important weighty reasons for God to allow a hurricane ...And we musn't forget the one which says, "Because He is God and He can do whatever pleases Him." Does that seem heartless and unfair to you? God made the world. God made you. He gets to determine the rules. And rather than saying a hurricane is heartless, consider the immense love that grants you life and breath and numerous possessions to enjoy for the expanse of your life. Considering the way most people think and talk about God THAT is really what is unfair and unjust. That God is kind enough to us to grant us anything at all is amazing. If he wants to throw in a little hurricane for reasons of his own, "Hey, You're God, Go right ahead."
When I got home I was feeling much better about the whole thing. And to solidify that sense of peace I had, I looked up every verse with the word "Protection" in it in the New Living Translation.
Here are a few to chew on:
How great is the goodness You have stored up for them who fear You. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection; blessing them before the watching world!
Have mercy on me O God. have mercy! I look to you for protection. I will hide between the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by.
Ps 18: 2
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my savior; my God is my rock in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me and my place of safety!
Fear of the Lord leads to life bringing security and protection from harm.
May the feathers of God's sheltering wings enfold you and your family. May he protect and bless all that is yours. And may HE become the greatest of your possessions.