What A Disaster
I sit here in this cafe that most days is filled to overflowing, a place I don’t often come to because it’s too overwhelming for my introverted soul. Today though, it has a slow, quiet line and few people sipping on caffeine. I can hear the old Colbie Caillat song clearly in the background instead of being muffled by voices and orders and keyboards clicking. It could be that a lot of people are busy today. My guess though, is that people are out preparing their homes for a natural disaster. I live on Oahu, in Hawai’i. As an island we are awaiting Hurricane Lane—a category 4, “very impressive,” hurricane that is currently aiming itself “dangerously close to the island chain,” according to the Hawaii News Now website.
So why am I sitting, sipping on a latte and eating a breakfast bagel? Because I prepared my home last time there was a potential hurricane warning—I have a “go bag,", extra non-perishable food, gallons of drinking water, and an extra bar or two of dark chocolate ready… just in case. That isn't to say I’m not anxious about this windy weather and potentially terrifying storm coming, it is simply to say I already prepared and therefore don’t have to wait in line at the gas station or scavenge the island for sold-out water. So I get to sit here, as calm as one can be in the situation, and have a normal-ish Wednesday morning reading and typing and drinking caffeine.
Last night as I laid and listened to the wind howl through my windowpanes, I stayed up thinking about preparedness. How prepared can I really be for a disaster? How prepared can I really be if 155 mph winds decide they want to tear through my neighborhood, knock over trees and telephone poles, or throw cars across the roads. Do some extra couple gallons of water and a dark chocolate bar really help me?
And as I’ve had images of storms flashing over and over again in my mind I would say that no, of course a dark chocolate bar is not going to be the life or death of me. But I can tell you this—that my researching hurricane and hurricane preparedness last time there was a scare made me extra prepared this time. I can tell you that I would’ve spent many, many hours going to store after store once I left work yesterday trying to find bottled water instead of knowing I had it at home. I can tell you that I would’ve been real disappointed I didn’t have an extra jar of peanut butter and some bread in my freezer when I discovered there was only $15 jars of Justin’s Peanut Butter left at all the grocery stores. And I can tell you for a fact that I was feelin’ really grateful I already had purchased a flashlight, radio, and portable phone charger so I didn’t have to brave going to Target in absolute chaos.
And friends, I can’t help but think that it is the same with disasters of life. How prepared can you really be for disasters? How prepared can you really be if you find out you have a life-threatening disease? Or you’re about to lose your home? Or the job turned you down? Or your husband is cheating? Or your eggs don’t seem to want to fertilize?
Well, I will say that a dark chocolate bar probably won’t cut it there either, folks. But what a treasure it is, that we get to rest in the fact we have a God who provides every emergency supply. We get to know, without a doubt, that He is our Shelter and Refuge in the storm. While the rest of the world reacts, stumbles, and grows fearful in the face of life’s uncertainties, we have a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). We serve a Jesus who, about to be broken by bleeding and nails, eats with His friends and washes the feet of others. We have a table that is prepared for us even in the presence of absolute chaos (Psalm 23:5).
And I know it’s hard, when destruction comes whirling toward you, to focus on anything except the chaos. Often times it feels like the face of evil is looking right at you, and it can leave you feeling utterly under-prepared. But friends Our God loves us so much, that even when evil tries to scratch, bite, and attack, we get to sit and laugh with each other around a dinner table. So although we might sometimes have to see the devastating consequences of the storm, we are told we can hide our soul in the shadow of His wings “till the storms of destruction pass by” (Psalm 57:1). You can hide with Him, cry with Him, scream with Him, or play games in the power-outage with Him, and know that you are being held, secured, protected, and loved in the midst of it all.
Please note: If you are the praying type, please be praying for any and all impacted by Hurricane Lane!
Please Also Note: I wrote this Wednesday, not today (Friday)... not a single coffee shop is open today that I know of- ha!