Hurricane Ian

Doug Hornok   -  
Hurricane Ian is about to make landfall on the Gulf Coast of Florida.  If the forecast is right, this is the storm of the century and is extremely dangerous. There will be loss of life, damage, and in some cases, total destruction to many buildings.  We need to be praying for the people of Florida.
Each time we see a “natural disaster” unfold, we need to remind ourselves of some basic truths.
First, God is absolutely sovereign over all of nature. He can Himself send devastation. Or He may permit Satan to wreak havoc on the earth. If He chooses to, God can intervene and prevent a hurricane, earthquake, tsunami, and all other natural disasters. What’s more, in the end, we do not know why He makes one choice and not another.
Second, great natural disasters tell us nothing about the comparative sinfulness of those who are its victims. The people of Florida are not more sinful than any other group of individuals that have not as yet experienced such pending devastation. To be clear, the people of Utah are not more righteous than the people of Florida because God has thus far spared us from such events. We live and flourish not because we deserve it but solely because of the mercy and longsuffering of God. Life is on loan from God. He does not owe us existence, and what He has mercifully given He can take back at any time, and in any way He sees fit.
Third, natural disasters should remind us that no place on earth is safe and that we will all die one day (unless Jesus returns first). Whether by a peaceful natural death at the age of 90, or by a sudden heart attack at 50, or in a car accident at 15, or by a slow battle with cancer at virtually any age, we will all likewise die. We are not immortal. The only ultimately and eternally safe place to be is in the arms of our heavenly Father, from which no hurricane, earthquake, cancer, or car wreck can ever snatch us or wrench us free.
Fourth, this natural disaster is not proof that the Rapture of the Church is at hand. What we should do is humble ourselves before the Lord and prepare our hearts for the day of His return, whenever that may be, whether in our lifetime or sometime in the future.
Fifth, we must learn to weep with those who weep. People will die from this storm and lose all they have, and we should do all we can to alleviate their suffering. We may not agree with the hurting on everything, but we must shower them with the love of Christ. Jesus calls upon us to show mercy to those who suffer.
Sixth, pray that God will use such an event to open the hearts and eyes of not only our nation but every people group on earth that is immersed in paganism to see the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and turn in faith to Him, lest something infinitely worse than a hurricane and flood befall them: Eternal condemnation and eternal suffering.
Finally, whenever events such as this occur, we must exercise humility and Spirit-empowered restraint in our verbal reactions. Be slow to provide explanations in the absence of explicit biblical teaching on the subject.
In the end, we must join the apostle Paul and say: “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor? Or who has given a gift to Him that he might be repaid? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:33-36).