Preparing for Hurricane Irma (and other storms)

By the time you read this, we probably won’t have power. As I’m writing this Sunday morning, the first bands from Hurricane Irma have gone through. Gusts of wind ripped the dead and dying branches from the trees and scattered debris across the yard. Small pools of water throughout the yard proved the saturated grounds won’t hold any more water. A yellow toy construction truck rolled across the pavers as the wind pushed it. A forgotten towel hung from the pool fence, angrily threatening to fly away.

And then nothing.

The wind died down and the air stilled, a spooky reprieve from what’s yet to come.

Another gust swept through, lifting branches before slamming them into the soaked ground. This harsh teasing of the outer bands of the hurricane served as a warning that this is only the beginning.

We drove along the St. Johns River yesterday, mentally collecting snapshots of the God’s beautiful nature, the sun sparkling over the water, the water lapping against the docks. Those docks—many haven’t been replaced since Hurricane Matthew rolled through last year—lay in pieces, haphazardly hanging or gone completely.

My husband pointed out the homes which had water flowing waist-high out the windows. I cringed, knowing this time would likely be worse. My heart silently lifted prayers to the Lord, begging for his mercy from this storm for all in its path.

Our next ride along the river won’t be the same. Downed trees and power lines and flooded roads will block most from passing through. Our prayer continues to be that God will turn the storm from us and protect our state and all the wonderful people in it.





Preparing for Storms

I’m a Florida girl through and through. Hurricanes happen here so we know how to prepare for the storms. We gather supplies –batteries, candles, and lighters, a source of light during the periods of darkness to follow; plenty of water when there isn’t access to clean water -bottled, jugged, and filled tubs; windows boarded shut and everything tied down and secured to withstand the strong winds; and plenty of food.

For storms of this magnitude, we usually have plenty of warning time to prepare. For other kinds of storms in our lives, they might sneak up on us. For instance, when my mom passed away, I had no warning. No signs indicating something tragic was about to happen. No meteorologist with scientific instruments and radars to signal storms ahead. She died with absolutely no warning and it was the biggest storm of my life.

Was I prepared? Clearly not. Did I have anything to sustain me through the darkest, powerless time of my life? Yes, but it wasn’t bottled water, boarded windows, or a food supply.

A Power Supply When the Lights Go Out

When the power goes out, we depend on other light sources like candles or flashlights. In personal storms, we can depend on the most powerful source of light–Jesus.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

We tested our flashlights in the dark to make sure the fresh batteries worked. They did. The instant light always awes the younger kids and they giggle at the sense of safety being able to see clearly. I remind them at the flick of a switch the flashlight will come on and produce light.

There’s another light we have access to and it’s not from the flick of a switch or the push of a button. Jesus promised He is the light of the world, and whoever follows Him will never walk in darkness, but have the light of life.

When the power officially goes out during this storm, we will cling to this verse, knowing that no matter what the darkness is inside or out, Jesus is the true source of light.

A water source when our filled containers run out

“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” John 4:14

The faucet in the tub has a slow drip so during hurricane prep, it took an hour to fill. Later, my daughter said, “Remember the tub we filled with water? I accidentally stuck my foot in it.” We laughed about it but vowed that wouldn’t be our drinking water when our source ran out.

Our bottled water and filled tubs will suffice for a short time, but when it runs out, we’ll need more. A body cannot survive without water.

Our spirit needs water too. In the book of John, Jesus meets a Samaritan woman and tells her to give him a drink. They discuss water. Living water. They’re not on the same page until Jesus reveals the private details of her life and who he is. Then she realizes Jesus IS the living water and she needs him.

We need him too. When we drink the living water, we will never thirst again. Have you tasted this living water?

A food source when our pantry is empty

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” John 6:35

A quick glance at the counters reveals our hurricane food supplies laid out in one central location. At some point during the storm or the aftermath, we will run out of food and need to replenish. Our souls need food just like our bodies do. Jesus promises He is our soul food, our bread of life, and when we come to him, we will not be hungry. He is the bread of life and satisfies our souls. Do you need soul food today?

Other storms of life

My prayers are for the protection of everyone in the path of this storm, but more so for the storms, you’ll go through the rest of your life. Are you prepared?

While we can’t stock our pantry, fill our tubs, and grab flashlights for personal storms, we can experience a power source in Jesus. Let Him be your light, living water, and bread of life.

When we depend on Him to sustain us through our tough times, He promised to be there for us and help us through. When you feel like you just can’t deal, will you turn to the original power source? The one who satisfies our souls?

Are you experiencing storms if your life right now?

Will you turn to Jesus?

“There might not be power in our home, but there’s always power in Jesus.”


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