by Andy Comer – August 26, 2017
Who would have expected a hurricane the weekend of our first Preview Service?
I sure didn’t.
They say to plan for the unexpected.
- We made adjustments when the first school we picked out wasn’t available.
- We adapted when our projection screen didn’t come in on time.
- We had a back up plan when the printer told us our bulletins wouldn’t arrive before Sunday.
However, the one thing that never crossed our mind was that we’d be holding our first Preview Service in the outer bands of a hurricane.
- It wouldn’t have surprised me if the sound equipment decided not to work during the pre-service hours on Sunday.
- It wouldn’t have surprised me if I caught a voice-robbing disease the night before that inhibited me from preaching.
- It wouldn’t have surprised me if it decided to rain during our very first Preview Service.
But who would have expected a hurricane?
God not only expected it, but I believe it’s part of His plan. No, I’m not saying God sent the hurricane to destroy and flood areas of South Texas, but I am saying that Harvey did not take God by surprise.
With that said, here’s what I really think about Hurricane Harvey.
1. It’s a reminder of how powerful God is.
Millions of people are watching with eyes glazed over as news reports come in about the devastating damage of Harvey.
The high winds, the heavy rains, the storm surge all demonstrate a powerful force.
But the strongest hurricane is no match for Almighty God.
Here’s what a group of men said about Jesus, “Even the winds and the waves obey Him.” Matthew 8:27
If God so desired He could shut down Harvey with His very words.
2. It’s a reminder that tomorrow is uncertain.
Just a few months ago I was living in Central Arkansas hunkered down in a closet with my family as bone-chilling tornado sirens blared outdoors.
Tornados, hurricanes, wild fires, earthquakes, droughts, floods, tsunamis, etc. The list could go on and on of nature’s unpleasant side. You never know what tomorrow holds.
Deep down our hearts longs for safety and security, so we try to prepare for a certain future. We max out the 401k, build the storm shelters, and drive cars with airbags. However, it doesn’t matter how big your 401k is; how strong your storm shelter is; or how ‘safe’ your airbags are…tomorrow is still uncertain.
“You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while then vanishes away.” James 4:14
The point is, there isn’t a truly safe place to live on an earth ravaged by sin. Tomorrow will always be uncertain, because we live in an imperfect world. Thankfully, God provides an eternal solution!
3. It’s a reminder that Jesus is our hope.
There is no hope for tomorrow without Jesus. The finished work of Jesus on the cross 2,000 years ago offers hope to the hopeless, rest to the weary, and peace to the insecure.
Paul tells us that “hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5)
In the days, weeks, and months ahead, the love of God will be on full display in South Texas. The very idea of charity and good will is a gospel-centered idea.The love of God will be on full display in South Texas. Click To Tweet
The human heart has no inclination to help others on its own accord (see Jer. 17:9; Gen. 6:5; Rom. 3:23). The very desire to help others is a reflection of the character of God. He is loving, compassionate, and gracious (see Psalm 103:8; Jonah 4:2; John 3:16).
So, as we prepare for our first Preview Service, I find rest in the truth that God is in control, Jesus makes a way, and the Holy Spirit is ever-present.
My prayers are for those who may not get to return home for weeks to come. My heart breaks for those who are uncertain about where they will find sleep for the night. I do pray that God’s character will be on full display through the work of His Church.