Dear Father, the news is buzzing with the approach of Hurricane Florence as it heads towards North Carolina, South Carolina, or Georgia. The storm has weakened from a Category 4 to a Category 2. However, weather forecasters are still speaking of devastating flooding from both a powerful storm surge on the coast and a deluge of perhaps over three feet of rain inland. Father, I ask once more – please limit the loss of life and property damage from this storm. Be generous to those who cry out to You for mercy, saving their lives and, where possible, saving their property. However, Florence is not the only life-threatening storm on the planet. Typhoon Mangkut is a super typhone on track to slam into the Philippines, also bringing serious storm surge and flooding. Father, the potential devastation in the Philippines is great due to the more vulnerable infrastructure and buildings and the dependency of the population on agriculture for economic survival. I ask that You have mercy on the people in the path of Typhoon Mangkut, sparing as many lives as possible.
There are seven other storms that have been reported. There is Hurricane Olivia that is threatening Hawaii, though it is weakening. There is Tropical Storm Isaac approaching the Caribbean along with Tropical Disturbance 95L which may become Tropical Storm Joyce. Forecasters suspect that Hurricane Helene is the next storm on a path to threaten the United States, though it is believed at this time it will break-up in the Atlantic. Southeast Asia may also be impacted by Storm 91W and the storm formerly known as Tropical Storm Barijat. Finally, Tropical Depression Paul is threatening the west coast of Mexico. Wow!
Experts have stated it is unusual to have so many strong storms in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans simultaneously. Those who are alarmed by global warming believe this parade of storms is another strong indicator of the warming of our planet. Higher temperatures increase the rate of evaporation, increasing the amount of warm water in the air, a virtual feast of food for tropical storms. Father, the planet may very well be warming and these storms may the proof of that warming.
However, I have not forgotten who You are. You are the almighty God. You are the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-wise, sovereign, just, and righteous God. You are the Creator. Your Word tells us that it is You who is in charge of the weather, that the weather responds to Your commands. You are not a mere spectator, watching global warming impact the planet. You have a voice in this. You have a say. Your will is done on earth as it is in heaven. Father, these nine storms exist at the same time because You have not only allowed it but You have engineered it. You are accomplishing something. You may be performing maintenance on the atmosphere or You may be refilling water tables in impacted land regions. Or, You may be sending the human race a message. We have forgotten You and You are tapping us on the shoulders, reminding us that You exist and that we need to attend to our relationship with You. These storms certainly send a message throughout the globe that You are God and we are not. Which one of us can take action to weaken or redirect any of these storms. We cannot. However, You can. Perhaps it is Your action, responding to people’s prayers, that has led to the downgrading of Hurricane Florence overnight. Father, forgive us for our rebellion from You. Turn the hearts of thousands, if not millions, of people back to You who live in the path of any of these storms. Awaken our thoughts to the reality that we do not control our own lives, let alone the world around us. We need You to be our God and we need to surrender our lives to You. Father, I ask that many people who will be directly impacted by any of these storms will cry out to You for mercy. Hear their cries and lead them to spiritual transformation. Yes, rescue them from the wind and flood waters. Restore their lost property to them. Use Your church worldwide to care for victims of the storms. May governments lend the money and resources to help the needy get back on their feet. However, don’t allow these nine storms to be powerless object lessons for our spiritual condition. Use these storms to get people to think and to reconsider dedicating their lives to their loving, compassionate, and merciful Father in Heaven. Amen.