A friend wrote from coastal North Carolina this morning that they were safe, without power, and dry. Just a few miles from them, along the beaches of Nags Head and Kitty Hawk, the houses were filled with water from Hurricane Matthew. I’ve been observing the storm with concern because some friends in Florida live right in the path of the storm. They also survived with minor damage.
In my reading in the past two weeks, the Psalms have been dominate. I’ve especially been intrigued by the Psalmists’ use of the power of nature to describe God.
3The floods have lifted up, O Lord,
the floods have lifted up their voice;
the floods lift up their roaring.
4 Mightier than the thunders of many waters,
mightier than the waves of the sea,
the Lord on high is mighty! Psalm 93
While listening to the roar of the hurricane, the waters beating against the shore, there is the knowledge that the Lord is mightier than these things.
Will God act? Will he preserve or allow destruction to come? The outcomes are unknown to us in the midst of the storm, but our belief is that the Lord is greater than the most powerful of things around us. Who am I to question his purpose, his will or the outcomes of nature? These things are not in the control of mankind, but that doesn’t change my understanding that God is greater than these things.
In Kansas, we don’t live by coastal waters. But many of us face the power of oppressive forces around us. For some, it might be an ongoing decline in health, for others it is living among deteriorating relationships, and others face the overwhelming struggles with debt and lower income. Oppression can take many forms, sometimes in the person of those we loved or trusted, sometimes vicariously in the lives of those we love who face mounting difficulty.
God is greater than all these things. Now, will God act to alter the circumstances? Perhaps, but perhaps not. In either event, God remains God, all powerful and all knowing.
God’s intervention in this life’s woes has never been universal, except for sending Jesus for all mankind. But biblical accounts of the action of God has never indicated that he raised all the dead, healed all who were sick, or restored all the lepers to wholeness.
One of the principle themes of Scripture is that this world and its woes are temporal. Struggles here, persecution or natural calamities, are only temporary. It may or may not change. The reality is that God is greater than these things, that the next life is the meaningful one, and we are to live for eternity, not for the moment.
So, when the waves crash, be reminded that you serve a God who is greater than the storm.