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HURRICANE HARVEY


It can’t be taken lightly. The devastation done by Hurricane Harvey to Houston, Texas and the surrounding counties and towns was most serious. Wind speeds clocked well over a hundred miles per hour, along with non-stop pounding rains for days. Flood waters rose up to six feet in some areas. Thousands lost their homes along with everything else. Some died while others sustained injury. Looking back, we well remember hurricane Katrina that practically decimated life and property on Louisiana and also “super storm” Sandy, that wreaked havoc on New York.

Hurricanes, storms, and other weather-related conditions are acts of nature, or acts of God. No human being can prevent or stop these natural conditions from occurring. Many may be asking, “Does God care, couldn’t He have prevented this disaster from taking place?” The answer is yes a thousand times over. Obviously, God chose not to, and that is absolutely His prerogative. Anyone who believes otherwise, that's their God-given free-will to reject it. As a Christian, and like many other Christians, that is our view and conviction. The Apostle Paul writing to Roman Christians stated, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).

God’s Word, the Bible states, “The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD is enthroned as King forever” (Psalm 29:10). This tells us that our Sovereign God, creator of the universe who we worship and serve, has absolute governing influence over the world including nature He created. Because God is sovereign, mortal man has no God-given right to question his creator as to why and how He does things. “The Bible says, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed, belong to us” (Deuteronomy 29:29). This is telling us that God has the divine and exclusive right to withhold certain information from us in accordance with His will and purpose. However, we can rest assured that the all-knowing God will reveal to us all that is vitally important for us to know.

Since God allowed the devastation of certain parts of Texas, we must conclude that only He knows the reason(s) why. No doubt, there are different lessons to be learnt from this catastrophe. Remember these famous words etched on a tombstone: “We Cannot Lord, Thy Purpose See, But All Is Well That’s Done By Thee.” It takes much faith in the Almighty to accept and believe this statement, especially when the circumstances result in death.

However, on the positive side of all that has happened, so many have been deeply touched and rallied to assist in the recovery effort. Truly, this was a classic example of “neighbor helping neighbor,” Interestingly, the prophet Isaiah wrote: “The coastlands saw and feared, The ends of the earth were afraid; They drew near and came. Everyone helped his neighbor, And said to his brother, “Be of good courage!” (Isaiah 41:5-6). What an excellent spirit of cooperation then and now. Those who bore the wrath of hurricane Harvey certainly need lots of courage in addition to our prayers.

Thank God the rain has ceased and the flood water is gradually receding. It will certainly take considerable time, effort and resources for full recovery and normalcy to resume. No doubt, the affected areas will “bounce back,” although the suffering, pain and scars will linger indefinitely. Those of us who believe in the power and effectiveness of prayer will continue to seek God’s intervention. God told the prophet Jeremiah, “Call to me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things that you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3).

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