At a time when the residents around Houston have finally seen the sun, when the water has begun to recede and reveal the destructive nature of Hurricane Harvey, at this moment when we’ve sighed a collective exhale, we are keenly tuned into the weather channel for updates on the new threat to our comfortable lives.
Hurricane Irma is headed this way and she is fierce. This way meaning toward us. It’s early but not too early for the weather people to say make sure you have a plan. Bottled water is selling out at our stores because Harvey has brought back memories of 25 years ago when Andrew unleashed his might on South Florida.
I said to my husband, it doesn’t seem like our prayers matter. Countless were praying for the people of Texas to be spared and still it bore down. Like Katrina and Wilma and Charley and Hugo, people of faith and desperation pray.
In the western part of our country fires are ravaging the land and keeping people indoors making the air quality hazardous. If we turn to the east or the west we see natures fury. And prayer seems anemic.
When I think of what our daily prayer should be – Thy will be done – prayer gets scary.
“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” CS Lewis
I don’t believe God unleashes his fury on us through nature. In Genesis 9:11 we read where God declares “Yes, I am confirming my covenant with you. Never again will floodwaters kill all living creatures; never again will a flood destroy the earth.”
He sets a rainbow in the sky as a reminder of his promise.
But what if God’s will is to be inconvenienced? To remember what it’s like to not have every comfort? What if for today, a week, a month, His will is to remember him more than our plans?
Is this the painful best Lewis is talking about?
I don’t want to be burdened by a disruption of my life. I don’t want the aggravation, the burden of work of boarding up and cleaning up. I don’t want our neighbors to go through this mess.
Why is it in the hard times that we more quickly recognize God’s grace? The times that look dark to the point of not seeing are the times we reach out our hand searching for him.
As Lewis said, I’m not doubting God will do his best for us. I am fearful of how selfish it reveals my prayers to be.
Before the winds and rain, before the knowing if we’re in harm’s way, I’m looking for his promise of love. I’m searching for the rainbow.