First – and I really have to say this – there’s a meme floating around that seriously annoys me. There are several versions but they’re all essentially the same: “My God is stronger than Hurricane Florence. Type ‘Amen’ if you agree.”
Well, “duh!” God created the entire Universe – so of course God is stronger! God is stronger than a heavyweight boxer too but if Mike Tyson stepped up and punched you in the face you’d go down just the same! A better message would be along the lines of, “Even in the darkest night and the worst storm I know God is with me.”
When we lived in Pensacola I had some Sarasota friends caught up in the “name it and claim it” Prosperity Gospel silliness. A strong hurricane had our home in its crosshairs. “Our God is stronger,” they said. Then they told us they had “commanded the storm to veer off in Jesus’ name!” Well, what do you know it did just that. Then the hurricane veered some more and headed directly toward Sarasota. You can be sure they were on their knees again commanding it to go somewhere else! When it finally made landfall I had to wonder, did the locals there just not believe in a strong enough God…?
Reporting in safe:
So here I am reporting in from Raleigh, safe. It’s windy, it’s wet, and I keep hearing the sound of small branches hitting the roof and the deck as some of the dead wood is getting cleared out by the outer bands. The garden is covered in leaves and pine straw and small debris. But the worst of Hurricane Florence is not nearly coming our way.
So pray, pray all you want. Be thankful for the life you enjoy and for the people you love and for the conveniences of electricity and running water and all these things we take for granted when we are not hit by hurricanes. But also listen closely to the voice of the Spirit when God reminds you to be the hands and feet, and heart and compassion, of Jesus when it is time to offer solace and help.
This is where God is strong, in the broken places, where God is calling us to serve.
Say Amen if you agree 🙂 Derek
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.