Three ways to be with Jesus during Dorian.

Stirring our affections for Christ during the storm.

Every hurricane season, we are reminded how horrendous storms can be to our well-being. I'm often amazed at how calm Floridians are when it comes to seeing hurricanes and tropical storms enter the forecast. I think that's because we know that no matter what, there is always a storm coming. The best thing we can do is always stay prepared and be ready for the cleanup after it's over. While there can be a very spiritual element to our preparedness, in the most literal sense we have great opportunities to take advantage of the times that the storm brings us. Anticipating extreme need, the remnants of destruction and the darkness that can come after the storm can be filled by things that stir our affections for Christ, while our minds are likely to be tempted to worry.

As we sit and wait for Dorian's impact and aftermath, here are four things I'm praying we can do during the storm:

  1. Pray for those who have already been affected.
    How easy is it for you to pray for someone who has been through something that you know is coming your way as well? It may sound easy, but often times it's hard. We most naturally prioritize bracing for impact over investing deeply in prayer for others who have already seen destruction.

    As Dorian has followed the track that most other hurricanes do, it's left thousands of people in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas in a devastating state. As we wait for it's arrival and sit through it's impact, we should take some extended moments to pray for those who have been affected by the storm already. Lives have been lost, families have been pulled apart and communities have been ravished ... there is so much that we can pray for before and during Dorian. When we pray we are in communication with God and we express love in the communication when we put others needs above our own.

    "Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble by the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." (2 Cor. 1:3-4)

  2. Find ways to intentionally love those who you're bunkered in with.
    You may be fully stocked with water, gas, snacks and supplies ... but are you fully stocked with patience and peace. Whether you are in your own home or someone else's, being in the same living quarters with the same people for extended periods of time during a stressful situation could bring on ... some not so great moods. Cabin fever mixed with a sprinkle of fear and a dab of worry usually is enough to tempt me to be less graceful and more snappy.

    Be ready to push past whatever emotions look to fill the tight quarters and even more ready to seek ways to love those who you're bunkered in with. Serve one another, listen to one another, comfort one another and repent with one another if your emotions have already reared their head in a negative way. By loving those around us, we will be taking on the ways of Christ.

    “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another.” 
    (Romans 12:9-16)

  3. Use your quiet moments wisely.
    We will undoubtedly lose power during the storm, even if it's for a little bit. The time without lights, electronics, internet and our leisure items can seem to be very long to us but the dark time may be an opportunity to connect with God. Grab a book, set out to read a part of the Bible that you haven't tackled, create an extended prayer list to work through or take time to meditate on what the Lord is doing in your life beyond the storm. The point is that we should slow down and embrace the beauties in the silence.  As chaos happens around us through sharp winds and heavy rain ... we can be still and trust that God is still powerful over all.

    “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10)

No Comments