Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright. [Psalm 20:7-8 (ESV)]
With Hurricane Ian bearing down on us, I finished this devotion in the wee hours of Wednesday morning while I still had power and internet. Whether Ian skirted by our area leaving little damage and minor flooding or left us with a major disaster of ruined homes and business, downed trees, flooded streets, and no power, cell service, or safe water for days, I don’t know. Even if we were left untouched, other Floridians will not be so fortunate.
We certainly were prepared—we stowed the lanai furniture, fueled the cars, had extra propane tanks for the grill, and stocked up with plenty of food and water. Our solar/crank weather-alert radio is ready, the boots and slickers are handy, new batteries are in the flashlights and lantern, the power banks for our phones are charged, and the 5-gallon water jugs are filled.
As for the house, we have aluminum roll-down or accordion shutters covering every window and door. The exterior of our house is made of steel-reinforced poured concrete walls, every roof truss is anchored to the concrete walls, and, with its extra-strong steel track system and twist-resistant framework, the garage door can withstand winds of more than 150 miles-per-hour. If the Three Little Pigs lived here, the Big Bad Wolf wouldn’t stand a chance, no matter how hard he blew!
Nevertheless, we know better than to put our trust in our concrete walls and storm shutters. The 6-feet thick/26-feet high walls of Jericho didn’t save it from Israel nor did Hezekiah’s 22-feet wide/25-feet high wall protect Jerusalem from the Babylonians. Throughout Scripture, we see how people and things can fail. Jeremiah warned against trusting in men and we certainly didn’t base our decision to remain here by trusting the forecasters. Like baseball players, they’re considered excellent when they get it right less than a third of the time! Isaiah warned Judah about putting their trust in Egypt, horses, horsemen, and chariots and Hosea warned the Northern Kingdom about trusting in their own military might so we knew better than trusting our ability to outsmart this storm.
Scripture warns us about putting our trust in people, riches, anything man-made, and even ourselves. Common sense, of course, told us to be prepared for the worst and, because the worst can happen, we did just that. Nevertheless, our trust isn’t in our preparations because our trust is in the Lord. While that doesn’t guarantee we’ll emerge unscathed from this storm, it does mean that whatever happens today, tomorrow, and every day after is in God’s hands alone. Because of that, we can join in Horatio Spafford’s hymn and sing, “When peace like a river attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot Thou hast taught me to say, “It is well, it is well with my soul!” Indeed, in spite of the weather, it is well with my soul!
There is only one secure foundation: a genuine, deep relationship with Jesus Christ, which will carry you through any and all turmoil. No matter what storms are raging all around, you’ll stand firm if you stand on his love. [Charles Stanley]