Hurricane Isaac is bearing down on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, predicted to make landfall sometime Wednesday morning as a strong Category 2 hurricane. Not great news for those living on the coast. The good news is that it’s not a category 3, 4 or 5 storm….which, I guess, is like saying, “Hey, I had a wreck and totaled my car; but, at least I’m still alive.” True, but it’s still some major hassle.
I’m a weather junkie. I’m fascinated by weather, specifically bad weather. I am amazed and awestruck at the power of a hurricane, or a tornado, or a thunderstorm. And, it reminds me that there is a God who created all of this and controls it. The Psalmist knew this, too, when he said,
For I know that the LORD is great,
and that our Lord is above all gods.
Whatever the LORD pleases, he does,
in heaven and on earth,
in the seas and all deeps.
He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth,
who makes lightnings for the rain
and brings forth the wind from his storehouses. Psalm 135:5-7 ESV
So, when God “brings forth the wind from his storehouses”, I like to watch. I have numerous weather apps on my iPhone, and when bad weather is coming, I love the nights when regular programming on TV is preempted by constant weather coverage.
“Here it is…it’s coming your way…it’s in your area now”…now, go stand outside in it and watch!
Growing up and living in several areas in Mississippi, I’ve watched with interest when hurricanes came ashore. Of course, when they reached us, they had (mostly) been downgraded to tropical storms, but they were nonetheless strong.
I remember Hurricane Frederic in 1979. I was a freshman at Mississippi State University. It was mostly rain, some pretty strong wind (science geeks were outside measuring wind velocity), and I was walking to class in it. No one showed up to class…guess I wasn’t paying attention.
I remember Hurricane Elena in 1985. Talking about aloof. I drove north from Baton Rouge, LA, to Starkville to visit my girlfriend (now wife) over Labor Day weekend. Driving back to Baton Rouge on Labor Day, I was totally unaware that I was driving directly into the “teeth” of the storm. Young, stupid, and in love was my excuse.
I remember Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Michelle and I (and our newborn, Griffin) were living in southwest Mississippi in McComb when Hurricane Andrew made its impact on the Gulf Coast. After a long night, we emerged safe but without power. This lasted several days, and I still remember a neighbor who reheated some bread pudding on their gas grill. Gave it a smoky, nutty taste…but, good, nonetheless!
And, finally, I remember Hurricane Katrina. We had moved to Murfreesboro, TN, from Hattiesburg, MS, in 2003, just 2 years before Katrina did its damage. Friends in south Mississippi were severely impacted by that storm, and we hosted a family from Hattiesburg for several weeks while things got sorted out. (As evidence of God’s Providence for me & my family…I had been contacted by a church in New Orleans about serving on staff not long before moving to Murfreesboro.)
I hope Hurricane Isaac passes without incident. I know the people in south Mississippi are anxious, and my prayers are with them. Yet, at the same time, I will be reminded that it is God who controls the winds and all He created.
He is a powerful God.