As I write this blog entry, those of us here in Dothan, Ala., and along the Gulf Coast of the U.S. are under the threat of an oncoming storm - Tropical Storm Isaac. It is expected to become Hurricane Isaac as it enters the Gulf of Mexico.
The current track his it heading directly toward us. If it stays on its current track, it will hit us either late Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. The effects of the storm – high winds and heavy rain – could be felt from Tuesday through Thursday. We have had a lot of rain the past six weeks, so widespread flooding definitely going to be a problem.
My prayer isn’t for it to change directions, because I don’t wish anything bad on anyone else. I pray for God to weaken the storm, and if we have to go through it, I have all confidence in God that He will protect us and get us through it. It’s not unusual for us to get hurricanes living this close to the Gulf of Mexico, but it has been a number of years since one has directly hit us. For that, I am thankful.
But, as this storm approaches, I think about Jesus and the disciples when they were in the boat and a storm came.
“On that day, when evening had come, He told them, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the sea.” So they left the crowd and took Him along since He was already in the boat. And other boats were with Him. A fierce windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But He was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke Him up and said to Him, “Teacher! Don’t You care that we’re going to die?” He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Silence! Be still!” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Then He said to them, “Why are you fearful? Do you still have no faith?” And they were terrified and asked one another, “Who then is this? Even the wind and the sea obey Him!” - Mark 4:35-41 (HCSB)
The storm hit with a vengeance, but Jesus slept. Why? He was not afraid. He had peace in the midst of the storm. He had all confidence that His Father would keep Him safe. The disciples were terrified. As Jesus told them, they didn’t have faith.
As this hurricane roars toward us, my focus turns even more to the homeless people we minister to and help here in Dothan. These people live in tents in the woods; some sleep in abandoned buildings. This storm could really bring devastation to them.
My prayer is for those of us at Love In Action to show the faith that Jesus did in the boat. I want the homeless to see the peace of Jesus in us. I want them to see that Jesus sent us to them to calm the storm and to be a place of refuge for them.
Please pray for our homeless friends, and please pray for us as we help them make it through this storm.