Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer able to tread upon the heights. Hab. 3:17-19 NLT
Heavenly Father, within hours, the first bands of Irma, a massive hurricane, will make their unwelcomed presence known along the vulnerable shorelines of south Florida. Our prayers continue to be, Dissipate the center; decrease the intensity; shock us with how quickly an angry 5 can become a gentle zephyr. And in every scenario, Lord, we pray protection for the lives of those in harm’s ways.
But no matter how this storm plays out, we want our heart adoration to reflect Habakkuk’s bold affirmation. Even if the storm surge is higher than we had hoped; even if the winds bring more damage than we had prayed; even if our homes, cars, and stuff suffer impact; even if our hopes get dashed and our schedules get trashed —to whatever degree our lives get disrupted, we want to say, “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!”
Not as stoics, but as worshippers; not as those in denial, but as those in Christ; not with passive resignation, but with active adoration, we declare our trust in you, Father, and love for you. We are rooted in your love and are standing in your grace—the surest footing imaginable. Deer can tread the heights of mountains, but you have seated us in the heavenly places in Jesus. Hallelujah!
In these coming hours, days, weeks, and months, may we, as your children, be good Samaritans to our neighbors and strangers. If the disruptions of this storm lead to the salvation of many; if some of the rancor of our culture gets replaced with the beauty of the gospel; if mercy melts meanness, and grace flows like a river, it will have been worth it all. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name.