Kristi and I have been praying for people who were impacted by the hurricanes. In church this week we sang:
“He loves like a hurricane.
I am a tree bending
beneath the waves and winds of his mercy.”
(From “How He Loves” by John Mark McMillan)
Is this true? Is this good to sing? It seems wrong when we see hurricanes bringing death, injuries, destruction of homes and lives. People are suffering and grieving.
I think about the mother and her 3-year old girl who were carried away by Hurricane Harvey’s raging flood in Houston. The mom couldn’t save herself and her daughter so she gave herself up and became a floating device. Her girl survived by clinging to her body for days till rescuers found her. She didn’t want to let go of her mommy.
I think about the woman in the Caribbean who got trapped in her house during Hurricane Irma. Her windows blew out. Trees and walls were crashing down. Water poured into her home. She ran into the bathroom, shut the door, crouched in the bath tub and cried out to God. She survived but her visible life was ruined.
“He loves like a hurricane…”
Is this true for our aunt and uncle who had to evacuate their home in Tampa?
For our baby grandniece fighting for her life in the hospital? For her parents and our whole family crying out for her?
For my elderly parents and two mentally ill brothers who are huddled together, trying to survive?
For the church leaders in a conflict I’m mediating?
For the burned out pastor who called us last week?
When Kristi and I are writing our “Soul Shepherding” book and we throw away hundreds of pages that don’t make the cut?
“He loves like a hurricane…”
When you’re clinging to a tree, battered by hurricane winds, torrential rain, and raging flood waters, is that true? Is God loving us with hurricane force in that moment?
It is true if we’re with Jesus in the spiritual reality of the eternal Kingdom of the Heavens. It is true, even if we get injured, a loved one dies, or we die. Our eternal soul is safe in our Father’s loving hands.
In the middle of the worst trauma and pain, we are being cared for by God and his angels.
The second we die, holding the hand of Christ, we step into the glory of heaven with a resurrected body. It’ll be all beauty, all grace, and all joy!
We won’t complain, “Oh, I wish I hadn’t gone through that trauma and died.” We’ll know for sure that God was loving us so wonderfully during the hurricane in the same way as we’re now experiencing in heaven.
We won’t worry, “How are my loved ones going to survive without me?” We’ll be more involved in caring for our loved ones than ever before.
Heaven is not an endless church service. We’ll be ministering and praying with Jesus. We’ll have meaningful work, adventure, and so much to celebrate.
The real question is not, “Why does God let hurricanes come?” It’s, “Why am I not keeping my eyes on Christ and eternity?”
When we put our full confidence in Jesus we begin experiencing real life in the heavens right now. It’s just a foretaste of the glory to come, but it’s immensely better than anything in this world!
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in times of trouble.” (Psalm 46:1) This is real. Right now. Forever.
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