Well, we made it through our cruise with no problem. A beautiful vacation time in the Caribbean. With all the storm activity there, it was hard for me to believe that we could have such beautiful and calm seas upon which to travel for the past week. Our ship’s crew did a fantastic job of guiding us (and the approximately 6,000 other passengers) through the whole trip on very calm waters. In fact, had we not been watching the weather prior to our departure, we would not have known anything about such people as “Fiona” and “Ian.”
But arriving back home we are discovering that the entire state of Florida is located in what could easily be called “Hurricane Alley”! Even as I type these words, we are awaiting the arrival of Ian at our table sometime very soon.
So what does one do when faced with the arrival of a hurricane in the very near future? For those in the direct line of fire in the coastal areas of the state, they may be required to evacuate. Others there may just be bracing for the impact of 150 mph winds and storm surges of 8-12 feet. For us in central Florida, the preparations are not so bad, but they are still there. We batten down the hatches, clearing off the patios of furniture that could be blown into our neighbors’ yards or windows, and making sure that we have enough supplies to last through any power outages or other potential crises. Most people here have in their homes a “Hurricane Survival Kit” filled with the needed supplies for just such a time as this.
Hurricane Survival Kits will often include such things as non-perishable food items and water, enough for everyone in your family, as well as flashlights, radios and batteries, not to mention first aid kits and enough supplies of medicine to sustain each person for the duration of the storm. People here stow these survival kits in the places where they intend to shelter-in-place during the storm. Or sometimes, if they plan to evacuate, they will stash that all in the trunk of the car and pray that as they evacuate, they will have enough fuel to get beyond the storm, or be able to find fuel on the way.
I cannot help but wonder if each one of us should not have at our disposal a “Storm Survival Kit” available not just during hurricanes but during any other storm that we may encounter — storms such as financial tragedies, family crises, health issues, employment quandaries, or other relationship challenges. Do you have a “kit” to which you can turn to find the resources you need to get you through any trial that may come your way?
When I read 1 Peter 5:7, I am reminded that in Christ we have all the resources we need and therefore we should constantly be “casting all our cares upon Him, because He cares for you.”
When Peter became the only disciple ever to walk on water, he began to sink into the depths of the sea only when he took his eyes off Jesus and started to look at the storm around him. That is indeed the message for each of us, no matter what the storm is we are facing.
The main question for each of us then is: Are you looking at the storm? Or are you looking to the Savior?
Chuck Tabor is a religion columnist for The Timnes-Gazette and a former Hillsboro area pastor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.