Hurricane Harvey, the Category 4 hurricane that struck the Texas Gulf Coast on August 25, caused far reaching loss of life and damage.
Weather forecasters had warned of the danger. Hurricanes had hit before, but they explained the danger of Harvey hovering. They warned of the danger of rains and flooding after Harvey struck. After torrential rains, rescuers told people to put white towels or flags on their homes to mark them as needing to be rescued.
Where is Jesus in Hurricane Harvey
Some have questioned where God is in the midst of this tragic storm. He is present. He is praying. He is saving.
The Bible records numerous times Jesus prayed. Sometimes He prayed in public. Sometimes He withdrew by Himself to pray. Sometimes He took others with Him to pray. And He was with His disciples in the midst of storms. He came to seek and to save the lost and dying.
Matthew 14:22-33 records the famous account of Jesus walking on water. What was Jesus doing prior to walking on water? “He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was alone. But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary.” Matthew 14:23-24
Jesus had sent the disciples in a boat to cross to the other side of the lake; then went up on the mountain by Himself to pray alone. The disciples were three or four miles from shore, and the boat was being battered by the waves. Between 3 a.m. to 6 a.m., Jesus walked on the lake toward the disciples. They were terrified and cried out in fear; thinking it was a ghost. Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!’ Peter got out of the boat , and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he because frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold him, and said to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, ‘You are certainly God’s Son!’
Did Jesus cause the wind and rough lake? No, the Bible doesn’t say that He did. What the Bible says is that Jesus was praying; that He came to the disciples in the midst of the storm, and that He saved Peter.
Satan is the Ruler of This Word but Jesus is Present and Praying
During Jesus’s life and prior His death, Jesus warned that Satan is the ruler of our current world. (John 14:30) (2 Corinthians 4:4) Jesus invites us to become citizens of His new heaven and earth. (Matthew 11:28-29) Prior to His crucifixion, Jesus prayed that we be kept from the evil one. (John 17:15) Are we listening?
Are We Listening and Responding to Jesus’s Offer of Salvation
Many people took necessary precautions before Hurricane Harvey. But, I wonder – if people had realized the full capacity of the storm’s wrath, would they have better prepared by buying rafts, boats, or life jackets? Many people heard, but they didn’t all act in accordance with the warning.
Jesus has warned us about Satan and hell. Are we listening and taking action by repenting of our sins and crying out to Jesus to save us as Peter did? If not, would you extend the white flag to Jesus? Would you confess that you need to be rescued from your sin? Something more eternal than Hurricane Harvey is coming. Jesus is present and praying for you.
Lord Jesus, thank You being present. Thank You for praying for us. Thank You for saving us when we repent of our sins and wave the flag of surrender to You. Thank You for Your continued presence and provision for all who are hurting, sick, and stranded. Strengthen each who is on the front line and use each of us to minister in Your name.