Lessons Learned from Irma

Hurricane Irma, which formed on August 30th and dissipated on September 13th, was the most powerful hurricane since Hurricane Dean in 2007. It was the most intense storm since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  It had sustained 185 mph winds for 37 hours.  That makes it the strongest and the longest sustained intensity on record.  Hurricane Irma spent more time as a CAT 5 hurricane than any other storm in recorded history with as much cyclone energy as an entire Hurricane season.  It inflicted catastrophic damage in the Caribbean, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina.  The death toll has risen to 82 with an estimated 62 Billion Dollars in damages.  Millions are without electricity in Florida and the Caribbean.  I was without power for a sweltering 7 days and 8 nights. Some may be without power for weeks or even months.  And, in the midst of it all, there were lessons to be learned from Irma.

When you strip away the “toys” and wealth and the perks of society, we are all the same.  Whether you spent your time in a home, hotel, or shelter we were all people in need.  Some of the worst destruction was seen by those who supposedly live the “good life” with a home on the water.  Movie and music stars saw their Million Dollar vacation homes on Caribbean Islands treated just as disrespectfully by Hurricane Irma as every other home in its path.  Who you were or how much money you had meant nothing to those pounding winds and waves.

I was raised to believe that no one was better than anyone else.  We all put our shoes on one foot at a time and until I hear of someone being able to jump into their pants both legs at once, that goes for pants too.  What makes us different is the lies of this world and the manipulation of society.  Children don’t see skin color as a difference until someone tells them it is.  Societal status is inflicted up us to keep us “in our place”.  And, none of that comes from God.  if we measured ourselves by Him and His Word we would know that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made in His image.  We would also treat each other accordingly.

Not having the electricity to keep the TV on or my laptop charged forced me to limit time on my devices to listen to Him more.  Sometimes it takes being still to know that He is God and that we need Him.  I suspect some people prayed during Hurricane Irma that had not prayed in a while.  Events like Hurricane Irma force us to be plugged into Him and not into an outlet.  Was it uncomfortable?  My mind told me it was but in truth, it was no less uncomfortable than life before technological comforts.  We talk about the “end times” but do we consider that the fear, trials, and stress of Hurricane Irma (and those that come afterward) could just be a prelude and preview to the end of days.  I have considered all of the above and more.

What have you learned about yourself and this world during the last week?  Whatever it was, hold on to it and keep it close at hand.  The power is flowing once again to distract you away from the simplicity of a life whose heart, mind and soul are set on God.  He rewards those who diligently seek Him and want to be with Him.  And, all I truly want, is just to be in His presence.  That to me is my reward.  And, when I am doing that it causes me to appreciate the things of value in my life – family, friends, and pets.  Everything else is replaceable.

Thank you, Hurricane Irma, for reminding us of what really matters.

 

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