We’ve experienced our first hurricane in perhaps the easiest and most comfortable way possible. We know all about tornados, having grown up in Oklahoma (Wakita where Twister was filmed) and in Kansas. However, hurricanes are a new reality. We learned more each day.
Laura and Marco danced around in the Gulf for a while, and no one knew which way they would go, so we had to prepare for all sorts of possibilities.
Hurricane preparation involved procuring ice, deciding what to do with documents, hauling lawn furniture into the garage, and planning what to pack just in case. Learning whether evacuation would be necessary (no, in our case). Going to regularly scheduled appointments. Stocking up at the grocery store. Making sure we had plenty of water and batteries and that we kept the gas tanks topped off, should it hit the refinery.
Like so many things in life, it was preparation for the unknown. All of this was done over several days under a sunny sky with no storm in sight.
Initially, we were right in Laura’s path. We had to be ready, but then she shifted northward. She merely spit rain on us once or twice as the outside bands spun over our metropolitan area on the “clean” side the storm. The picture at the top of this post is of Laura between noon and two o’clock yesterday.
Hurricane Laura hit the NE Texas and southern Louisiana coast in the wee hours this morning after developing winds as high as 145 mph with a category 4 designation. She was 120 to 165 nautical miles in diameter. The diameter of Laura’s eye itself was thirty miles. That’s an enormous storm, far larger and more powerful than a tornado! The satellite photo above shows Laura sucking up the warmth of the Gulf on Wednesday afternoon, gaining strength as she spun northward toward landfall.
Now NE Texas and all of the Louisiana coastline are desperately in need of prayer. The storm surge was 15 feet high and was deemed unsurvivable, surging thirty miles inland. That turned those shoreline miles into part of the ocean. Yesterday, governors instructed citizens to evacuate from the impacted area. Wednesday night they were saying that the time to have evacuated was on Tuesday. If people were still there, it was too late. Pray.
Lest anyone worry, we live about eighty miles inland. At this distance, all we saw of this hurricane was a little rain and a nice cool breeze. It was strange to be right next to one of the most dangerous hurricanes ever to hit these shores, and yet to experience so little impact. On our hurricane app, the blue dot of our location looked as if the swirl of the hurricane was right on top of us. Eighty miles makes a big difference.
During the first part of the week, though our son gave us ongoing advice, we were still trying to figure out how exactly to prepare. What in the world were we supposed to be doing now that two storms spun around in the Gulf and we awaited the outcome?
It reminded me of going to Lamaze classes before our first child was born. We had no idea what we were doing, but we’d read about childbirth in books. We had listened to a Lamaze instructor talk about it weekly, and we saw a movie or two. We packed my suitcase. We were ready.
Of course, the real-life experience of having a baby ended up being nothing like we’d envisioned. At all. This has been the same.
So far, we’ve learned how unpredictable hurricanes are (as are children). They wobble around like a tornado, while covering hundreds of miles at once. Where a hurricane lands, we now know, is in the hands of God (same with children). Many details aren’t determined until the final day before landfall, even though we could see it coming for days (also with children). That was disconcerting. We were impressed by the patience and flexibility of the people who have lived here all their lives. After this one, we still have much more to learn (as with children). But, we do know this:
God superintends the storm.
Of God’s sovereignty, Job said, “You lift me up on the wind; you make me ride on it, and you toss me about in the roar of the storm” (Job 30:22).
After Jesus stopped a storm, the disciples said, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” (Matthew 8:27b ESV).
Jonah ran away from God, booking fare on a ship. “But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up” (Jonah 1:4 ESV).
When Paul was on a ship that broke apart during a storm, “all were brought safely to land” as promised by God (Acts 27:44 ESV).
God controls the ride. We don’t.God superintends the storm. “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” (Matthew 8:27b ESV). God controls the ride. We don’t. Click To Tweet
Whatever happens, whether hurricane or tornado or any other life challenge, the Lord Jesus has promised to work all things together for the good of those who love him, no matter how bad it seems.Whatever happens, whether hurricane or tornado or any other life challenge, the Lord Jesus has promised to work all things together for the good of those who love him. #TrustGod #Faith Click To Tweet
Please pray for the people who are right in Hurricane Laura’s path on the Gulf — all of the Louisiana coastline, NE Texas, and now into Arkansas as it plows northward. The coastal area looks like a bomb exploded, tearing all of the buildings apart and scattering them far and wide, and the flooding is widespread. Especially pray for the people who live near the ocean, who have faced and are facing the greatest peril, loss, and upheaval.
The Lord bless you and keep you, no matter your life experience today.