“Why am I wearing my jeans and t-shirt to bed, momma?” I remember saying.
“In case we have to get up and leave quickly. But don’t worry, say your prayers. God will take care of us.” That was my mom’s answer.
That answer was enough. I was afraid, but felt safe knowing dad was watching the weather and that God was caring for us that night in late September 1975. Hurricane Eloise would make landfall near Panama City sometime in the early morning on September 23 well east of our home in Pensacola, Florida. Dad would drive us to tour Ft. Walton Beach a few days later so we could see the damage. Four years later the seen replayed as Hurricane Frederic came ashore just west of Pensacola near Dauphin Island, Alabama. Later I would ride out the remnants of Elana while in college in Montgomery, Alabama and as a young married man I ran from Opal while living in Niceville, Florida.
Hurricanes are sign-posts in my life. I count the years and remember events based on these powerful storms. I live far inland now and the storms that reach me are weakening when they make it this far, but they can still pack a good punch (Ivan comes to mind). So I’ll keep watching these storms. Even as I am composing this post I am tracking Igor in the Atlantic and 92L in the Southern Caribbean north of Guyana, South America (may develop in the next few days to become Julia or Karl).
There is not much one can do about hurricanes or any storm. All we can really do is prepare for these storms. Listen to the forecasts, pay attention to the warnings, get out of the way of the more dangerous ones, batten down the hatches and hang on. Hurricanes can get rough, they cause damage, end lives so we take them seriously. Be sure to stock up on bread, water, candles (flashlights, lanterns), and milk.
There are a couple of life (spiritual) lessons we can take from these storms. To face life’s storms we need:
- The Bread of Life – Jn 6:33-51, Jesus is the Bread of Life.
- The Water of Life – Jn 4:13-14, Jesus provides this Water of Life.
- The Light of the World – Jn 1:6-9 (Jesus the Word of Life) that we share with others in darkness (Phil 2:15)
- The Milk of the Word of God – 1 Pet 2:1-3. In this word we can find the nutrition that we need to survive this world.
Take my warning seriously and prepare for what life can spin your way.