Sunday, June 11, 2006

Storm Warnings

Here he comes - Tropical Storm Alberto - the first tropical storm (with the potential of a hurricane) of the season. We've yet to batton down the hatches, but our patio furniture was already swept into the pool by a strong gust of wind! We've only been in Florida for a year and friends from other places continue to ask, "Why would move there with all those hurricanes?"

Personally I'd rather live here because at least we get plenty of warning about these storms. It gives us time to prepare and then take action. I wouldn't want to live in California and wake up to an earthquake they couldn't predict at 2 a.m. I have lived in the northeast and faced brutal blizzards, but I haven't lived where there are flash floods. I did live where tornados swirled through the sky and devastated the land, but I haven't lived where sand storms come up out of nowhere and block out the sun. I've even been struck by lightning! Storms of all kinds plague the earth. Some we can prepare for; others surprise us. Both take their toll; both have to be weathered.

Storms are usually of their own making, but some experts theorize that global warming, something humans contribute to, has helped to increase the number of storms and their intensities. If we continue to destroy our environments, we have no one to blame but ourselves when nature turns on us. But not everyone is in agreement on this theory. Geologists and meterologists also propose that these storms are a part of the natural cycle of the earth. It's just what happens. Whether we have a hand in their making or not, storms come and with them a path of destruction.

Experts are desperately trying to predict the movements of this storm minute by minute. Their hope is to be able to give people enough warning to decrease the amount of loss to life or property. Some people choose to ride out the storms. Newscasters are fond of showcasing those who stay behind during an evacuation. Some call them "foolish" while others commend their bravery. Personally, we plan to drive to my sister's house in North Carolina if instructed to evacuate. Click here for up to the moment radar.

Most storms are predictable, but they are not tame - they cannot be controlled. They will come whether or not we're ready, whether or not we're willing, whether or not we're able to stand tall against their overpowering nature. Indeed the storms will come.

The storms of life are just as certain to come. The damage of these storms are worse because of the choices we make along the way. Driving when the streets are flooded, standing outside when debris clouds circle, staying put when ordered to evacuate, or standing in front of a window to catch the light show increase your chances of injury at the very least. When the storms of life come, we need to consider the following:
  • put up your hurricane shutters=build your hedges of protection.
  • stay tuned to expert warnings=seek and follow wise counsel.
  • equip your survival kit with enough food and water=spend more time in God's word.
  • stay off the streets=don't get caught up in the foolishness of others.
  • plan your evacuation route=pray for and look for a way of escape.
  • trust God for the outcome=trust God for the outcome.

This is only the first week of the hurricane season, and I know we're in for a bumpy ride, but it's to be expected. I think we're pretty well prepared this year. We have state of the art hurricane shutters, but I did notice we're low on bottled water, so I guess I'd better get to the store before the shelves are bare.

It's a good thing God's Word never fails.

My church published this prayer for protection from hurricanes today. It certainly applies:

God our Father, Creator and Lord of the universe, you have set the earth on its foundation and all the elements of nature obey your command. We humbly ask you to keep us safe from all dangers and calm the storms that threaten us. May we be secure in your loving protection and serve you always with grateful hearts. We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.

What are you doing to prepare to weather the storms that will eventually come your way? What's in your survival kit?

Copyright 2006 Vicki Caruana. All rights reserved.