We watched this storm develop several days in advance. As it approached the coast it was apparent the forecasters were not wrong in their predictions. 90 mile an hour winds lashed New York City and the New Jersey coastline. The water surge flooded subways and tunnels. Power is out to millions. It is stunning to realize the world's financial capital is shut down because of a natural occurrence. In our recent memory the only thing that has done this is was 9/11.
America has had more than its share of natural disasters in recent years. I realize such events are cyclical and can be plotted with regularity on a timeline. I also know that God uses such events in His prophetic timeline to summons a people to wake up to the reality that He controls all events, both natural and human, on this planet. We pointed out in yesterday's BT Daily that it could be more than a coincidence that Hurricane Isaac last month was on the seventh anniversary of the devastating Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. This east coast storm comes twenty-one years (3 X 7) to the day after the Perfect Storm that hit New England.
Could there be more than coincidence at work? It just may be. But an event of this size gives us all an opportunity to step back and learn from the great God who holds this fragile world in His powerful hands. We go along in our modern reality thinking that nothing will change or that there are no consequences to our actions. We lull ourselves into thinking we may be immune from life changing situations that can hit rapidly and unexpectedly. Life can sometimes be very fragile and we need to be prepared mentally, emotionally and spiritually to handle these dramatic life challenges.
In recent months two close friends have died leaving behind family and friends to grieve. One man died unexpectedly while the other died after a long bout with cancer. While talking with their wives and offering words of sympathy and support I was struck at how these events bring us face to face with the temporary nature of life. You walk away from such life events sobered and chastened. Such times leave a mark of pain and loss but also a reminder to not take anything for granted. God does hold our lives in our hands and sometimes, as David said to Jonathan, "…there is but a step between me and death" (1 Samuel:20:3And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes; and he saith, Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved: but truly as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death.).
The only way we will survive such "life storms" is by taking refuge in the God who knows the breadth and depth of human experience and can guide us through the rough and choppy waters that rise and surge against us. His grace is not far from those who seek Him and reach out in the darkness to know His love and the grandeur of His plan for all human life. An event like Hurricane Sandy is timed by this God to get our attention and awaken us to a new reality.
God reached out to Job at such a moment and shook him awake. Job was challenged when God asked, "Have you entered the springs of the sea? Or have you walked in search of the depths? Have the gates of death been revealed to you? Or have you seen the doors of the shadow of death? Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth? Tell Me, if you know this." (Job:38:16-18 Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?  Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?  Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all. ). Job came to understand his limitations and he was stronger for it.
The God who controls storms like Hurricane Sandy can also send the calm and serenity to deal with the turmoil. The key is in making the connection with Him through a faith that produces change and a mastery of life.
Hurricane Sandy is but one storm among many "storms" presently shaping our world. The Middle East continues to roil. The world economy is being shaken and reshaped at the same time. Political leadership at every level around the world seems incapable of providing lasting solutions to these and other issues. The best that each of us can do is prepare ourselves for whatever comes at us. It begins in a moment and event like this. Realize our limitations and reach out to God who rides in these storms and controls the outcome of all.
This is a moment to discern the "signs of the times". It is a moment to see the hand of God moving in this world with a call to repentance. The Kingdom of God is closer than we think.
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