For those who don’t know, I live in Spring Hill, Florida. It is about 40 minutes north of Tampa. As Hurricane Irma continues to barrel down on the Peninsula, it seems more and more likely that the center of the storm is headed directly for us. People are scared. Stores are depleted of resources and many don’t know what to expect. Today we begin last minute prep, for me that means bagging ice, filling up empty bottles of V8 splash with water and freezing them, filling the bathtub with water, doing all my laundry and smelling my unlit candles.
I spent a little more time on Facebook than usual today and one thing is clear. Fear, worry and panic are the predominant feelings being put out into the world of social media. I can’t help but wonder why more people aren’t emphasizing their trust in the Lord. I’m not suggesting that we should not be fearful, rather that we should use that fear to drive us to prepare. Once we’ve done all we can do it’s time to stop focusing on all the things we can’t control.
This means we stop feeding our mind a constant stream of fear and panic. Turn off the weather channel except for occasional reports to stay updated. Don’t keep staring at social media, fueling the worry. Turn it off and focus on what truly matters. Spend time with your family. You don’t have to wait until the power goes out to come together and start playing games. Pray together and remember what the scripture says.
Philppians 4:6-7 (NLT) Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Isaish 26:3 (NLT) You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NLT) Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.
Isaiah 41:10 (NLT) Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
Psalm 55:11 (NLT) But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy.
I truly believe God is bigger than this 600 mile storm. Even if the worst of it comes our way, is our trust in the power of the storm or the power of our God? He can and will protect His people. Even if disaster does strike and we suffer great loss, that doesn’t diminish the power and presence of God in our lives. He is still good and He will provide. Let us remember His word and trust in Him this weekend. Let us pray and ask for His peace to come. Let us trust in His protection. Let us walk in the confidence of His word. We are God’s children and therefore we must walk in His peace.
Matthew 5:9 (NLT) God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
Ephesians 6:15 (NLT) For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.
My prayer is that through this crisis we will demonstrate the power, peace and protection of God to a world in desperate need of the love of Jesus. Let us clothe ourselves with His peace so that we can be a beacon of light and hope to those around us filled with fear. I pray that through the example of our lives they will come to find faith in God.