Spiritual Preparation for Hurricanes

2019-09-01 – Year C – Proper 17 – The Rev. Christopher M. Klukas

Isaiah 41:1-10; Psalm 112; Hebrews 13:1-8; Luke 14:1,7-14

  • Over the last few days, I keep hearing over and over about how supplies are running out, gas stations are out of gas, stores are out of water.
  • Our president has even called Dorian an “absolute monster” and decided to cancel his scheduled trip to Poland so he could focus on responding to the coming disaster.
  • How are you feeling about all of this?
    • panic, fear, or anxiety.
  • Rick Warren – “The fact is there are lots of reasons to be afraid in today’s world. But God’s promise is that, even in your darkest valleys, he is walking beside you. It’s interesting to note that there are 365 verses in the Bible that say, “Fear not.” God provided us with one “Fear not” message for every day of the year! Don’t you think God is saying, “Get the message. Don’t be afraid.””

Before the Storm

  • We all know about making preparations for hurricanes. Make repairs to your house. Buy supplies like water, batteries, flashlights, and food. Have an evacuation plan in place.
  • There are also ways that we can spiritually prepare for a hurricane.
    • Spend time in prayer – pray for yourself and others. Pray for God to send the storm out to sea. Practice listening for God’s voice.
      • You can ask guidance from God regarding how you should spend your time, energy, and money as you prepare.
      • I had a distinct sense that I was supposed to replace the weather stripping on our Sunroom doors before the storm.
    • Spend time in God’s word.
      • God’s word is meant to instruct, to correct, to inspire, and to comfort.
      • Do not fear for I am with you…I will strengthen you and help you. (Isaiah 41:10)
    • Get right with God.
      • It shouldn’t take a hurricane or a disaster to help us to turn to the Lord, but sometimes it does!
      • “Seek the Lord while he wills to be found.” (Isaiah 55:6)
      • I am not expecting to lose my life in this storm, but we must remember that Hurricanes are dangerous and, even apart from hurricanes, none of us know how many days we have left.
      • When we are in Christ, death is not something to be feared, for Jesus has conquered even death itself. Confess your sins, give your life to Jesus.
  • Be prepared, but remember that it is only God who can save you.
    • I used to be fascinated by prepper tv shows. The more I watched them, the more I had an anxious feeling that I was not prepared enough. More food, water, supplies, medical kits, bug out bags, bomb shelters.
    • I was developing my skills at self reliance, as if it were all up to me.
    • Surely it is God who saves me. (Isaiah 12:2)
  • Help your neighbor. Are there any people around you who are not able to prepare for one reason or another. Is there anything you can offer that would help?
    • Jesus tells us that to Love your neighbor as your self is the second greatest commandment. It is also the very first part of our vision as a church.

During the Storm

  • One thing you are supposed to do before a storm is put away anything in your yard that could turn into a projectile, and if you can’t move it, you should strap it down.
  • We need to strap ourselves down too! Cling to the Lord.
    • Continue to pray. You may have some extra time on your hands!
      • Pray for yourself. Pray for your neighbors. Pray for this church. Pray for our county and for the east coast.
    • Continue to read his word.
      • “[God] has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man [hurricanes] do to me?”” (Hebrews 13:5–6, ESV)
      • Psalm 23 – even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.
      • Psalm 46, particularly vs. 3.
    • Continue to ask him for guidance.
      • God may give you wisdom on whether to stay or evacuate.
      • He may give you a sense that you should check on something in a particular area of your house. In Irma I woke up in the middle of the night and felt like I should make the rounds in my house. Discovered water coming into our sunroom. God showed me a small problem before it became a big one!
  • Keep your eyes open, looking for the ways that God will be merciful to you during the storm and all the ways he will help you.

After the Storm

  • When it is all over, Thank God (Isaiah 12:5-6)
  • bear witness to what God has done. (Isaiah 12:4)
  • Don’t despair saying “why me?” Ask, “What do you want to teach me through this?”
  • Help your neighbor.

Do Not be Anxious

  • Philippians 4:6-7

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