-by Mary May Larmoyeux– Early on the morning of Friday, October 6—when Hurricane Matthew was expected to slam the eastern coast of Florida—one of my friends posted a warning to her Florida friends and family. “If you are reading this … ‘you are under a MANDATORY evacuation order. You MUST leave by 11:00 AM TODAY!! Friends please take this storm seriously.” And, she also asked everyone to pray.
My friend and countless people prayed that God would be merciful as they watched the news of the impending storm. It was predicted to hit the Florida coast as Category 5. Florida Governor Rick Scott warned residents to evacuate, saying things can be replaced, not people. “This storm will kill you,” he said.
But then one of the weather forecasters said something like, “a strange thing is happening,” as he described Hurricane Matthew and a smaller storm that were vying for intensity. From the sound of his voice the words in his mouth seemed like things might not be as bad as everyone anticipated. And I wondered, just wondered, what if that “strange thing” was not so strange after all? What if it was the very hand of God?
The Morning After
The next morning I immediately turned on the TV to find out what had happened in Florida. I switched from channel to channel, and the only coverage I saw was what my husband and I had seen the previous night. Then I went to the internet and read “Eyewall of Matthew Scrapes Florida.”
Scrapes by? Now it did not scrape by without considerable damage and loss of precious life. But as one senator said, Floridians had been very fortunate.
A talk show host said Hurricane Matthew was “moderate rather than a monster.” And a television commentator said Hurricane Matthew “did not hit the coast of Florida as much as it could have.”
I believe the Lord intervened. That He answered countless people’s prayers.
I wonder if the naysayers in biblical times would have looked at the parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14) and said “a strange thing has happened”?
He Is Still in Control
We are told in 1 John 5:14, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.”
Today I feel an inkling of what Job must have felt when God reminded him of his great power (Job 38:4-7):
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”
My friend who posted the Facebook message? Well, the morning after Hurricane Matthew hit she wrote, “Praise the Lord—from all of the reports I have been hearing from our friends in Florida this morning God has answered our prayers!”
Yes, God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Yes, there are countless storms swirling around our world today. But when disaster aims at our lives, may we always remember, regardless of what happens, God is in control. He hears our pleas to Him for help.
How have you seen God answer prayers in your life?
Searching for some creative ideas for grandparents? Check out The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild’s Heart. It’s written by a USA Teacher of the Year, Nancy Downing, and Mary Larmoyeux, a writer for FamilyLife. Paper and electronic versions are available. (Great for parents, aunts and uncles, too!)