Prepare for the storms of life
One day a tourist visited an area of the country where folk had real simple lives. An old farmer was standing by the road with a piece of rope in his hand and a curious traveler stopped to see him. The tourist asked, "What do you have in your hand?" The old-timer said, "It's a weather gauge." The tourist asked, "How can you possible tell the weather with a rope for a gauge?" The answer, "It's simple. When it swings back and forth you know it's windy, and when it gets wet, you know it's raining." We know for sure we've had some real bad weather.
The disciples of Jesus faced some real bad weather. According to Matthew 14:22-23, they were on a boat in the Sea of Galilee in a terrible storm. They miraculously survived.
Our area has been battered by a storm. Thankfully, we have survived. Surviving the storm gives us the opportunity to thrive in life. There are some matters we need to see, know and apply in order to flourish in life.
First, see the bad circumstances. The disciples were on a boat and conditions were so bad they thought they would die. Our situation is severe with fallen trees, damaged cars, torn up homes, interrupted utilities and disrupted jobs. We've learned to be grateful for the simple things of life.
Then, see hurting people. The disciples hurt with fear. A lot of people are hurting in our area. I am sad for every trouble which has come upon you.
Next, see the Lord. Jesus walked on the water to the disciples. One distinctly obvious sight in this storm is the Lord's presence. God has taken care of us. A lot of homes have been damaged, but very few people have been injured. People have learned that when Jesus is all they have, He's all they need. His grace is sufficient for life's good times and bad times. We may hold the name Ivan in disdain for a long time, but we will hold the name of Jesus in highest esteem for all time.
Finally, see salvation. Jesus rescued the disciples. He is still in the people-saving business. Cherish your life. Property can be replaced. People matter. Physical deliverance from a difficulty is one thing. Salvation of the soul is the matter of critical importance. If you had not survived Hurricane Ivan, where would you be spending your eternity?
A weather forecaster predicted correctly that Hurricane Ivan would be the storm of the century for its impact area. I've talked to people who proudly testify that they have survived the horrible storm. Now, make your life count for God. Show the evidence that the Lord is present and at work in your life. Turn to Him in repentance and by faith for salvation. Decide to thrive in life and not just survive.