Today as I sat in church I rested on the knowledge that Thad and I had done everything we could to prepare for Hurricane Dorian when and where it should hit. Living in Florida this is a yearly concern so we “know the drill”.
This whole hurricane thing got me to thinking.
When the hurricanes come into your life, are you prepared physically? Are the shutters up, the plants, garden flags, patio furniture, garden decorations in? Have you filled up the car(s) with gas, filled up gas containers for the generator if you have one, and propane for the grill? Is your pantry filled with food items, and your medicine cabinet filled with necessary prescriptions, headache and pain relievers? Hurricanes can surely bring on headaches. Do you have diapers for kids and grand kids, batteries for lanterns and flashlights and maybe even a few bottles of wine (for medicinal purposes, of course)? In other words, have you taken the necessary steps to prepare yourself physically to survive the oncoming onslaught of adversity?
“Yes” I answered to myself.
And then I thought about whether I was prepared emotionally. If I am going to be honest , I am NEVER totally prepared emotionally except to having a strong feeling of how much I don’t want to go through this. So the first decision is whether to muster up some bravado and stay to face the storm or pack up all the loved ones and a few essential documents and photos and evacuate. I know I said I moved to Central Florida to be nearer to our only child and her family (GRAND KIDDOS, YEAH!), but I also thought naively that I could retire from worrying and prepping for hurricanes. After all, when we were shopping for a home in Central Florida, I asked if each home had shutters. Every response was the same. “Oh, we don’t really get hurricanes here. You don’t need shutters.” That first summer we were hit with a hurricane and had trees down and flooding. I, my daughter, son in love, two grand kids, one new grand puppy and brother and sister in law watched in horror as the winds and rain beat against our naked, unprotected, large, really LARGE windows. We lost power for several days and with the heat and humidity; suddenly a 3000 square ft. home felt way too small for all of us. Since then, Thad and I invested in impact windows and an in house generator for which we feel blessed to be able to do. While there is still some emotional anticipation that bubbles up especially as I watch the weatherman try to predict all the possible outcomes. I am prepared for all the scenarios – even ones that include a tree cutting our home in two. At least I think I am. Delusion is good sometimes.
Sitting in the pew today I said, “Yes, I am prepared emotionally.”
Today as I sat in church I rested (a little too smugly) that Thad and I were as prepared as much as were were able for Hurricane Dorian.
And then I thought or perhaps God whispered – “Ah, but are you prepared spiritually, Loretta?”
Spiritually? Uh –
“No.” Sigh and cringe. I have been caught up in watching, preparing, making sure the kids and kiddos were watching, preparing that I haven’t been spending time in the word, reading my daily devotion nor in quiet reflection. “But, God, I have been a little busy here. You understand.”
Silence. It’s like my direct line to God was dead and I was disconnected. Oh, boy.
I knew that while I needed to be prepared physically and emotionally, without the spiritually preparation, the other two could quickly unravel when faced with any adversity, let alone Category 5 Hurricane Dorian. I have run this path before.
As I said, delusion is good, but faith is better.
Sitting in Sunday worship I realized I needed to put my priorities in order – God first, family second. With those in place, physical and emotional preparedness would fall into place. For I know that when I take time to rest in the Lord’s word, and in His presence, that I can face whatever lies before me. I can trust that whatever the hurricane in might life might be, it is no match for God’s strength. And while I cannot do all things, God can. Whatever this world brings me to, God’s love will bring me through it.
Are you prepared physical, emotionally, and spiritually for the hurricanes in your life? Do you sometimes fail to prioritize properly? What do you do to not just survive but thrive through adversity? Please share in the conversation.
May you feel God’s presence throughout the storms in your life and may it bring your peace.